time you plan to visit the beautiful vineyards of Bordeaux,
Mosel, Tuscany or Stellenbosch, think again. Think Lavaux
Vineyard Terraces of Switzerland, the latest addition
to the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Stretching for about
30km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake
Geneva to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne, they cover
the lower slopes of the mountain side between the villages
and the lake.
The go-ahead by Unesco gives the 800-year-old
terraced wine region the same status as the Great Wall
of China and the Taj Mahal. Lavaux won the World Heritage
status on the strength of its ancient vineyards, spectacular
lakeside setting and alpine panorama across the lake.
The 830-hectare terraced area is devoted
to the production of some of Switzerland's finest wines,
including eight wines with the AOC quality label. Among
them are Dézaley, Calamin, Epesses and St Saphorin.
The region benefits from a temperate climate,
but the southern-facing terraces and ancient stone walls
give the area a Mediterranean feel. The main wine grape
variety grown is the Chasselas.
Although there is some evidence that vines
were grown in the areas in Roman times, the present
vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century,
when Benedictine and Cistercian Monasteries controlled
The villages, small towns and intensively
planted vines reflect the changing system of production
and patronage over ten centuries. Extensive remains
of houses, mills, fortified towers, and much of the
landscape reflect the way wine production evolved over
The cultural landscape of the Lavaux vineyard
demonstrates in a highly visible way its evolution and
development over close to a thousand years, through
the preserved landscape and buildings, and also the
continuation and adaptation of longstanding cultural
traditions, specific to its locality.
is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction
between people and their environment developed to optimize
local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine
that has always been important to the local economy.
Local communities have been strongly supportive of protection
measures to resist the fast-growing urban settlements
that could endanger the area.
The World Heritage Convention, adopted
by Unesco in 1972, provides for the identification,
protection and conservation of natural and cultural
sites of outstanding value. More than 800 such sites
can be found across the world, including 628 cultural,
160 natural and 24 mixed properties in 137 countries.
Delhi's Red Fort was also included in
the list on Thursday. Edifices like Taj mahal, Fatehpur
Sikri, Ajanta and Elora Caves, Churches of Goa, Qutab
Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Taj Fort, Khajuraho Group of
Monuments and many more are already a part of the heritage.
For complete list visit http://whc.unesco.org
Meeting for its 31st session in the southern
New Zealand city of Christchurch, the committee reviewed
the state of conservation at the 830 sites on Unesco's
World Heritage List.