The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has declared the Prosecco-growing region of Italy to be a World Heritage site.
The famed Prosecco hills of Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, including the DOCG vine-growing area, have been awarded the prestigious accolade. The addition to the UNESCO list acknowledges the region's cultural importance.
In a statement announcing the news, UNESCO noted the region's distinctive nature, the "‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni – small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces – forests, small villages and farmland."
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The historic region, located in the northeastern Veneto region, has been cultivated for vineyards for hundreds of years. "For centuries, this rugged terrain has been shaped and adapted by man. Since the 17th century, the use of ciglioni has created a particular chequerboard landscape consisting of rows of vines parallel and vertical to the slopes. In the 19th century, the bellussera technique of training the vines contributed to the aesthetic characteristics of the landscape."
In recent years, Prosecco has become the most popular Italian wine abroad, with reports indicating that exports of the sparkling wine have risen by a record 21 per cent in 2019. However, the region is not the first wine-related addition to the World Heritage List. Traditional cultivation practices on the Italian island of Pantelleria and the wine-rich Italian region Piedmont were added in 2014, while the French regions of Burgundy and Champagne were given World Heritage status in 2015.