De Wereld Erfgoed Commissie van de Unesco heeft het wijnlandschap van Piemonte in Italië op de wereld-erfgoedlijst geplaatst. In feite gaat het om het gebied Langhe-Roero en Montferrato, maar de uitloop omvat tevens de wijnregio’s van Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera d’Asti en Asti Spumante. Dit is het vijftigste  landschap dat aldus is beschermd. Het gaat hier om 10.000 hectare land met 29 steden en dorpen. Wine-Searcher meldt:

‘The listing includes six separate zones including the Grinzane Cavour castle and five areas with outstanding landscape and distinctive wine production: the Langhe hills of Barolo, the Barbaresco hills, Nizza Monferrato for its Barbera production, Canelli for its Asti Spumante sparkling wine and Monferrato for its “infernots” (distinctive underground wine cellars).

The region has a history of winemaking going back to pre-Roman times. According to the Piedmont's application for the Unesco listing, the essential “Outstanding Universal Value” (OUV) proposed was represented by “the entrenched culture of wine and the extraordinary landscape shaped by human labor related to grape growing and wine production.”

The zone includes more than 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) of land and 29 towns and villages, most of them implicated in wine production. The listing is awarded as much for the history and culture of its wine production as for its rural landscape, architecture and historic buildings. The interaction of man and nature is also cited.

Being on UNESCO’s World Heritage List provides not only global recognition for a region’s culture but extra protection from developers, and gives a boost to tourism.

Other spectacularly beautiful and historic vineyard areas already included on the Heritage List include the Wachau in Austria, Tokaj in Hungary, Lavaux in Switzerland and the Upper Douro Port region of Portugal. The wine regions of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy and Champagne are both nominated by France for listing in 2015’