Champagne’s UNESCO champion dies
15th January, 2016 by Rupert Millar
Pierre Cheval, the Champagne winemaker who was the driving force behind the region’s UNESCO bid, has died.
It is being reported that Cheval, who was 66, died very suddenly at his home in Aÿ yesterday evening. The cause of his death is not yet known.
He was the central figure in Champagne’s UNESCO World Heritage bid, which was granted to the region’s vineyards alongside Burgundy’s in July last year.
He had just been named La Revue de vins de France’s ‘Man of the Year’ for 2016.
Having originally studied law, he spent 10 years working as a bureaucrat in the Interior Ministry before returning to Champagne in 1980 to take over his wife’s family estate – a 7.5 hectare property in Aÿ.
He had handed over the running of the property to his son, Louis, three years ago but remained heavily involved in the region and was president of the Paysages du Champagne orgnisation and various other initiatives.