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Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in the UNESCO World Heritage List

24th June, 2014

Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in the UNESCO World Heritage List

In a fantastic boost to the region, ‘The Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato’ has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, bringing the total number of Italian sites to 50.  To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.  

“An exceptional living testimony to the historical tradition of grape growing, winemaking processes, a rural economy and a social context based on the culture of wine” was cited as the reason for the site’s inscription to the list. It is testament to the hard work of generations of farmers who have shaped the region and the world-famous wines it produces, including Barolo, Barbera and Moscato d’Asti.  

The UNESCO entry states: “The Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history. It is located in the southern part of Piedmont, between the Po River and the Ligurian Appenines, and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and wine making that has characterized the region for centuries. Vine pollen has been found in the area dating from the 5th century BC, when Piedmont was a place of contact and trade between the Etruscans and the Celts; Etruscan and Celtic words, particularly wine-related ones, are still found in the local dialect. During the Roman Empire, Pliny the Elder mentions the Piedmont region as being one of the most favourable for growing vines in ancient Italy; Strabo mentions its barrels.”  

David Gleave MW, a regular visitor to the region for over 30 years, commented, “It is great to see this most beautiful of wine producing regions being granted UNESCO protected status.  Still, the best way to preserve and protect the Langhe is for the producers to make great wines, which will ensure a growing market and funds to continue to invest in better quality methods and a beautiful landscape.”