French pride fizzes as UNESCO lists Champagne and Burgundy vineyards

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BERLIN: The historic vineyards, wine cellars and champagne houses where the world’s most famous sparkling wines are produced were listed as a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). In a double victory for French wine, corks were also popping in Burgundy after its vineyards were crowned with the same prestigious distinction by the UN cultural body in the German city of Bonn. It picked out the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, where the grand houses sit atop miles of cavernous cellars where millions of bottles of bubbly are aged. There was special mention too of the village of Hautvilliers, in whose abbey as legend has it the monk Dom Perignon first invented the double fermentation technique that gives champagne its fizz. UNESCO said the champagne world heritage status covers “the places sparkling wine was developed using a second fermentation method in the bottle from the beginning of the 17th century until its early industrialization in the 19th century.”

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AFP

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