Let’s raise a glass to the fact that at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee in Bonn earlier this month, Champagne and Burgundy were voted onto the official list of Unesco World Heritage sites. Two glasses in fact, one of Cristal and the other of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, whose Aubert de Villaine was instrumental in obtaining the enhanced status for Burgundy.
The Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars and the climats of Burgundy now join over 1000 sites around the globe on a World Heritage list that includes the Australian Convict Sites, Auschwitz, Robben Island and the Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne.
While recognition of provenance and authenticity can only be a good thing, no-one would maintain that Champagne or Burgundy are in any way ‘endangered’, nor even that they are in desperate need any of the $4 million UNESCO budget that goes towards preservation and restoration.
It’s no coincidence that Champagne corks popped when the results came in. Private sector companies attending the less publicised Private Sector partners’ meeting such as Panasonic, Google and others will enjoy ‘heritage-sensitive’ opportunities for the protection of the environment and tourism for their brands. Meanwhile property owners in the regions in question can expect a boost in land prices as well as a growing influx of tourism. Result!
The Wine Gang
6 September 2015