UNESCO world heritage wine regions to visit: Updated

UNESCO wine regions
Vineyards and small town of Treiso in Piedmont

Updated July 2019.


Getting there: One hour drive from Paris or 40 minutes on TGV train from Paris Gare du Nord.

riddling racks in the Krug cellars

Riddling racks in the Krug cellars in Champagne. Credit: Krug.

Champagne came oddly late to the UNESCO World Heritage list; its vineyards, houses and miles of underground cellars making the exclusive club in 2015.

It has arguably also been a little slow to consider the potential of wine tourism, given that it lies barely an hour from Paris, one of the most visited cities in the world.

But, things are changing in this part of the world and several houses are well worth a visit.

Decanter contributor and Tyson Stelzer recently shared his tips on where to go in Champagne.

At the November Decanter Fine Wine Encounter in London, we asked several Champagne producers and representatives for their favourite local restaurantsWords: Chris Mercer.

See also: Ten tips for visiting Champagne houses

The Azores

Getting there: International flights land at the largest island, São Miguel, for connecting ones to the smaller islands. You can fly to some islands from Lisbon also.

Azores travel

The port of Velas on the Island of Sao Jorge, the Azores.

The Azores have two UNESCO sites; one being the Pico Island vineyard culture. The second largest of the islands, Pico’s vinicultural history dates back to the 15th century, with a series of spaced out linear walls across the island that protect small plots of land from wind and seawater. Sarah Ahmed recommends where to stay and eat on Pico, and more of the islands.

On the island of Terceira, the 15th century port is also a UNESCO site, listed as a ‘unique example of military architecture’. Words: Ellie Douglas 

See also: Wine lover’s guide to Ponta Delgada

Prosecco, Italy

Getting there: Fly into Venice, then it’s less than an hour to the hills of Prosecco.

Premium Prosecco

The dramatic landscape of Prosecco’s Conegliano Valdobbiadene territory

One of the latest additions to the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the landscape of Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene was added in July 2019.

The vinegrowing area for Prosecco DOCG is included as part of this, in particular the ‘ciglioni’ – small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces – and the ‘bellussera’ method of training vines, as examples of man’s influence on shaping and adapting this natural landscape.

Take a tour of the Prosecco vineyards to see it for yourself.

It’s also easy to combine this trip with other nearby UNESCO sites – such as Venice and its lagoon, or the city of Verona. Words: Ellie Douglas

See also: Best restaurants in Venice for wine lovers

Tokaj, Hungary

Getting there: Fly to Budapest, then it’s a three-hour drive to Tarcal via the M3 motorway. A direct train from Budapest Keleti station to Tokaj takes 2.5 hours.

Tokaj vineyards of Oremus Estate

Tokaj vineyards of Oremus Estate. Credit: Hans-Peter Siffert / Bon Appetit / Alamy

Hungary’s Tokaj appellation, characterised by its rolling and verdant hills, has the distinction of being Europe’s first classified wine region. The thousand-year-old winemaking traditions that still remain in place today make it an obvious choice for UNESCO world heritage designation.

Home to the famous Tokaji-Aszú dessert wine (characterised by French King Louis XIV as ‘the wine of kings, the king of wines’), it is also noteworthy for its labyrinthine cellars where these historic sweet wines are stored.

The Ungvári cellar in Sátoraljaújhely, near the Slovakian border, comprises four floors which connect 27 different cellars, accessed from different, above-ground gates. Covered in extraordinary mould, the cellar labyrinth is one ingredient that contributes to the magic of these dessert wines. Words: Katie Kelly Bell

  •  See also: Decanter travel guide to Tokaj

Loire Valley, France

Getting there: Fly to Paris-Orly and Sancerre is a two-hour drive. Alternatively, take a train from Paris to Tours. Saumur is then a one-hour drive…

Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-travel/decanter-travel-guide-world-heritage-regions-25003/