The World Heritage wine regions

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Being granted UNESCO World Heritage status is a feather in the cap of any wine region boasting superb landscapes or a long wine-growing tradition. Rebecca Gibb MW explores the rocky path to selection。

Below: aerial view of the town of St-Emilion and surrounding vineyards, added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1999
Below: aerial view of the town of St-Emilion and surrounding vineyards, added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1999

A CROCODILE OF poncho-wearing tourists trail behind a cruise-ship guide in the aftermath of a downpour in St-Emilion. It’s an unseasonably soggy summer day in the medieval town and the steep, narrow lanes are treacherous, but that’s not deterring thousands of visitors: American voices mingle with French, German and Chinese, filling the cafés and keeping the wine stores – which advertise that they ‘speak English with a French accent’ – ticking over. In 2019 it will be 20 years since the town achieved UNESCO World Heritage status, and a survey by the town’s tourism office says that 30% of all those who visit come because of that status...

Translated by ICY

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