For wine lovers, the produce from places like Barolo, Monferrato and Barbaresco is among the very best. Now, theres even more reason to raise a glass or two to this very special region of Piedmont. The Unesco World Heritage List has just included the heart of the Piedmont region, an area of roughly 25,000 acres, which includes Barolo, Barbaresco, Nizza Monferrato and Barbera, the infernots of Monferrato, Canelli and Moscato dAsti and the castle of Grinzane Cavour. The award was recently presented at a ceremony in Doha, Qatar. The Unesco World Heritage Site recognition will clearly give more prestige to the area and its wines, which are already very well-known by wine drinkers all over the world. The nomination process officially began in 2006, backed by the Piedmont region and the provinces of Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo, where the vineyards are located. It was officially presented to Unesco in 2011 and subsequently resubmitted with modifications in 2013. The original area was much bigger. The inspectors of Unesco suggested reducing the core zone to six areas with the top sites having the best hills and vineyards. Officially called The Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, the area received cultural landscape recognition for its combination of natural and man-made significance. An association founded by the four provinces and the Piedmont region was created to manage the site and coordinate all the activities. The official recognition was awarded in 2014.
Braida, a leading Barbera producer in the Asti region, owns vineyards in some of the communes designated as World Heritage Site. The company believes the award will protect the natural landscape, resulting in even better and more sustainable vine growing. It will protect the great sites, known as bricco, sori or suri, from speculative construction. In fact, the recognition is expected to benefit the area both economically and agriculturally. Experiences from other Unesco areas tell of an increase in tourism of about 30% in the first five years, said Luciano Bertello, president of Enoteca del Roero. Certainly, there will be very specific constraints, but rather than affecting, it will, in fact, give value to viticulture. This recognition will further encourage responsibility among the producers of grapes and wine to act as main custodians of the territory. With this years addition, there are now 1,007 Unesco World Heritage Sites from 161 countries around the world.
Unesco encourages the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage. Italys 49 sites are the most of any country. To be chosen, an area must demonstrate a natural significance so outstanding to overcome national boundaries and to be of common importance for the present and future generations.