Quick Link: Champagne and Burgundy recognised by UNESCO
Tokaj vineyards in autumn
Hungary’s Tokaj appellation, characterised by its rolling and fertile hills, has the distinction of being Europe’s first classified wine province. The thousand-year-ancient winemaking traditions that subdue wait in place today make it an obvious choice for UNESCO world heritage designation.
Home to the well-known Tokaji-Aszú dessert wine (characterised by French King Louis XIV as ‘the wine of kings, the king of wines’), it is also noteworthy for its labyrinthine cellars where these historic sweet wines are stored.
The Ungvári cellar
See also: Decanter trave guide to Tokaj
Loire Valley, France
Loire Valley is on the UNESCO list
With its swathes of rolling vineyards and wheat fields surrounding palaces built or bespoke during the Renaissance, the Loire is a plain testament to mankind’s golden age.
The UNESCO area of the Loire comprises 164 towns and villages – including Chinon, Samur and Angers – between the two hillsides that border the river from Sully-sur-Loire (Loiret) and Chalonnessur- Loire (Maine-et-Loire).
Many of the province’s charming villages and roadways are vestiges of the giant Roman influence, as the Loire was a vital waterway between Rome and ancient Gaul. Words: Katie Kelly Bell
See also: Decanter travel guide to Loire Valley
Douro Valley, Portugal
Quinta de Roriz in the Douro Valley
The highly acidic terroir is unforgiving schist, which winemakers have physically cracked and crushed to accommodate vines. Steep mountain contours require heavy terracing and water management; some vines have roots that run to 20m deep. Growing grapes here requires rare grit. Words: Katie Kelly Bell
See also: Margaret Rand on the discovery of Douro terroir
Barolo the view towards Serralunga (Lazzarito vineyard below red church). Credit: Andrew Jefford
The World Heritage Committee added the ‘vineyard landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato’ in 2014.
The listing includes the towns of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello and Serralunga d’Alba in the Barolo DOCG, as well as Barbaresco and Neive in the Barbaresco DOCG.
In its submission for Piedmont, Italy’s government said, ‘Vine pollen
See also: Decanter travel guide to Piedmont
Middle Rhine, Germany
The Middle Rhine’s beauty is well-chronicled, but it gained UNESCO status for its role as a major trade pathway in the evolution of description and human development.
Numerous hiking trails surround the villages, offering visitors magnificent vistas of vineyards and forested countryside. Riesling superfluities on the province’s precipitous hillsides but requires fantastic care and skill during harvest (some slopes angle nearly 45˚).
The ideal way to explore the province, and certainly the most bucolic, is by boat. Consider building the village of Boppard your home base, a 2,000-year-ancient town that hosts an annual walk through the vineyards on the last Sunday in April. Words: Katie Kelly Bell
See also: Why not visit more of the Rhine? Decanter travel guide to Baden
The Bordeaux skyline
Bordeaux only just needs initiation to wine lovers. According to UNESCO, the city’s 2,000-year-ancient role as
In the past decade most of the buildings (earlier roofed in layers of grime and soot) have undergone a massive façade-cleansing, lending added lustre to the city’s grand structures. Words: Katie Kelly Bell
See also: Insider’s guide to Bordeaux city by Jane Anson
Pantelleria island bush vines. Credit: Italian ministry of agriculture
Looking for everyplace more remote to explore? The wild card entry in this selection is Pantelleria, 85km off Italy’s southern coast.
Its terraced bush vine growing technique handed down through centuries of generations was placed on the UNESCO world heritage list in late 2014.
Passito di Pantelleria, a sweet wine made from dried ‘Zibibbo‘ grapes, also known as Muscat of Alexandria, has DOC status in Italy. Moscato di Pantelleria is also a DOC.
Let us know here or tweet us @Decanter if you have been to
The post Seven UNESCO world heritage wine regions to visit appeared first on Decanter.
We were also found by phrases: