02 July, 2007

The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces of Switzerland have been chosen by UNESCO as a new World Heritage Site.

The Terraces stretch for about 30 kilometres along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva. They cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake, and their origins can be traced back to the 11th century.

UNESCO’s citation for the site says: “The cultural landscape of the Lavaux vineyard demonstrates in a highly visible way its evolution and development over close to a thousand years, through the preserved landscape and buildings, and also the continuation and adaptation of longstanding cultural traditions, specific to its locality. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment developed to optimize local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine that has always been important to the local economy.”

The vineyards are one of 22 new sites inscribed by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organisation.

There are currently 850 World Heritage Sites, a mixture of cultural and natural properties.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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