Monday, 6 July 2015

Could Jerez be a World Heritage Site?

On the 4th of July Champagne and Burgundy received their inscription as UNESCO World Heritage sites. I heartily congratulate them not only for the wonderful wines, but also for the years of hard work they have put in to achieve this.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) was established in 1945 to promote peace through the protection of human patrimony. In 1972 the World Heritage Convention was introduced to protect nature and human interaction with it, allowing vineyards to be included.

If any vineyards deserve World Heritage status it is surely those in the Marco de Jerez. The nearby Coto de Doñana is already a World Heritage site for its biodiversity, but the Sherry vineyards, with their ancient history and culture and a totally unique product produced in wonderful bodegas, surely deserve recognition as human patrimony. If Champagne and Burgundy deserve it, so does Jerez.

Maybe nobody has thought of this or prioritised it, maybe it is the wind farms or maybe it is the dilapidated state of many vineyard houses, but for some reason Sherry is not a World Heritage site. With hard work it could be however, and that would attract many more visitors – and customers.

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