This Key Prosecco-Producing Region Is Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Not that you needed another reason to toast a glass of Prosecco, but here’s one anyway: On Sunday, the World Heritage Committee named a key part of the sparkling wine’s growing region to its UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The newly inscribed site — officially listed as “Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene” — joins 54 other Italian locations on the UNESCO list which now contains 1,121 sites in all. In explaining the inclusion of the hills of Prosecco, UNESCO wrote, “Located in north-eastern Italy, the site includes part of the vinegrowing landscape of the Prosecco wine production area. The landscape is characterized by ‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni — small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces — forests, small villages and farmland. 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.”
For the record, wine bearing the Prosecco DOC can be made in a large area across the Veneto and Friuli regions in Northern Italy, but the hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are specifically home to the Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, a far smaller area that —as the name implies — claims to be home to higher quality Prosecco. Regardless of whether or not this is true, it at least helps explain why this area was singled out from the larger DOC for inclusion on UNESCO’s list.
As a side note for American lovers of sparkling wine, Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene was one of two new sites added to the World Heritage List yesterday alongside “The 20th century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright” in the United States. So feel free to raise a glass to Frank Lloyd Wright as well: You’re not going to get through a full bottle of Prosecco with just one toast.