Wine regions miss out on UNESCO status

Burgundy and Champagne have both been dropped from the next group of candidates to be considered for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Burgundy's mosaic of climats

Burgundy’s mosaic of climats

With so many European applications now being made for UNESCO recognition, the organisation has tightened its requirements to allow just one “cultural” and one “natural“ site submission per country each year.

Of its four candidates competing to be put forward to the World Heritage Committee in July 2014, France has decided to enter its other two sites under consideration: the prehistoric Chauvet caves of Ardèche and the volcanoes of the Auvergne.

Calling for Burgundy’s climats to be put forward as part of next year’s submission, Aurélie Filippetti, minister of culture and communication, and Delphine Batho, minister for ecology, said that the campaign “has inspired a wealth of support”, with 50,000 signatories to its cause.

Highlighting the broad range of people signing their support for the cause so far, Bernard Pivot, President of the Friends of the Campaign, remarked: “If the candidacy were only being driven by experts, politicians and winegrowers, one might think that it were the agenda of a privileged elite. Therefore, popular support is absolutely critical.”

In its effort to win UNESCO recognition and protection for “the mosaic of unique plots that make up the Burgundy winegrowing region”, the campaign’s key points focus on the climats’ “remarkable cultural quality”, as well as “coordinated and efficient management plan”, “strong local involvement”, “determined political support” and “key local economic impact.”

Campaigners now plan to use 2013 as an opportunity to rally even more support for Burgundy’s application, which was first begun in 2007, with the aim of being included in the 2015 list.

Among other wine regions already on the World Heritage List are the Wachau in Austria, St Emilion in France, Tokaj in Hungary, the Upper Douro in Portugal and the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces in Switzerland.

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