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The wine-making traditions of Champagne and Burgundy recognised by UNESCO

UNESCO has added the “climats” of Burgundy and the hillsides, houses and cellars of Champagne to its World Heritage list.

The 1,247 “climats” in Burgundy and the hillsides, houses and cellars of Champagne are now part of the “developing French cultural landscapes”, proof that they offer exceptional universal value, according to the international organisation.

Champagne!

For UNESCO, the hillsides, houses and cellars of Champagne represent the “areas where the method of producing sparkling wines was developed”.

Three very specific sites have been added to the World Heritage List:

  • The Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, which is home to the major champagne houses and cellars;
  • Saint-Nicaise hill in Reims, where the underground cellars are used for wine production;
  • The hillsides around Epernay, especially in Hautvillers (the abbey here was once home to the monk Dom Pérignon who gave his name to the famous champagne).

The vineyard parcels of Burgundy

The “climats” of the Burgundy vineyards are precisely delimited vineyard parcels on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. Each of these parcels produces a unique cru, including some of the world’s most famous wines (Romanée-Conti, Montrachet, Vosne-Romanée etc). Their inclusion recognises the exceptional heritage of these regions, their diversity, as well as the traditions and savoir-faire of wine-producers in Burgundy and Champagne.

France now boasts 41 “properties” on the UNESCO World Heritage list, including the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (Burgundy), the Canal du Midi (Midi-Pyrénées) and the Routes of Santiago de Compostela, to mention just a few.