Italy adds the 50th UNESCO World Heritage Site to their list, the landscape of the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in Piemonte, and the country’s only UNESCO recognized landscape.
The Langhe-Roero and Monferrato Landscape was approved in Doha, Qatar on June 22, 2014 to enter the prestigious World Heritage List. This makes it Italy’s 50th site, giving the country the well-earned top place in the world as for total number of World Heritage titles held. It was Italy’s only candidate for this particular UNESCO session.
The Langhe-Roero and Monferrato Landscape includes six wine areas and 29 towns for a total of 10,789 hectares (over 25,000 acres) of rolling hills chosen for their fine wine production and stunning, rural views. These include the hills of Barolo, the hills of Barbaresco, Nizza Monferrato for its Barbera production, Canelli for its Asti Spumante sparkling wine, and Monferrato for its particular underground wine cellars called “infernots.”
The wines produced in these hills are undeniably some of the best in the world; and the countryside offers postcard-perfect views blanketed in vineyards seen from every angle. However, the honor of achieving UNESCO status was conferred also because of the historical significance, economical importance, and cultural heritage that have tied its men and women to the land for over 2000 years. The landscape is the beautiful manifestation of the wine traditions that have held strong since pre-Roman times, evolving yet remaining ever-central to the economic activity and social life.
According to UNESCO, the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), which must be stated of every entry in their prestigious World Heritage List, is represented by “the entrenched culture of wine and the extraordinary landscape shaped by human labor, related to the grape growing and wine production.” (www.paesaggivinicoli.it)
Pietro Ratti, President of the Consortium for the Safeguard of Barolo and Barbaresco (Consorzio tutela del Barolo e Barbaresco) says, “It is the right recognition for the vine growers who have preserved the hills of Barolo and Barbaresco, who have always cultivated their vines with knowledge and in full respect for the traditions and wisdom of the land’s farmers. UNESCO is a great stimulus for us to continue to work well with even greater responsibility, so we may leave our sons and daughters this magnificent territory that our own fathers have passed along to us.”