More recognition for Champagne

By | Category: Travel destinations
crayère of a Champagne House

crayère of a Champagne House © Frederic de Poligny

Champagne – the wine – already has protected recognition so that no-one can call a sparkling wine champagne unless it comes from a smaller are in France.

Now UNESCO has added to that protection by listing the hillsides, houses & wine cellars of the area as a world heritage site.

UNESCO stated that the industry behind champagne production was “a very specialised artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise”   fulfilling three of the required criteria: including exceptional sites or landscapes of cultural, architectural or historical merit as well as living traditions of outstanding universal significance and therefore deserving of special protection status.

Like San Antonio that Just about Travel covered yesterday, the process also took eight years before such recognition was received. And also like San Antonio, the local tourist board is expecting a big boost in tourism because that seems to be what UNESCO status gives if not guarantees. It believes that visitors will be keen to explore the landscapes and heritage of unique cultural, historical and wine-making traditions ranging from small producers to world-famous Champagne houses in the coronation city of Reims; the chalk cellars and world-famous Avenue of Champagne in Epernay; some of the oldest vineyards around Dom Perignon’s village of Hautvillers;  and the wine-producing villages of Aÿ and Mareuil-sur- Aÿ.

As a nation we consumer champagne by the bucket load. Look how much is consumed during Wimbledon fortnight alone. Now the Champagne and Ardennes Tourist Board will be hoping that we book onto those regional flights into the area and boost tourist numbers even more.

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