We reported sometime back about how a chance remark from the Mayor of Bouteville had sparked a chain of events that would see the vineyards of Cognac become World Heritage UNESCO sites.
And it appears that this is now set to become a reality – although in all seriousness this will take a good while before it actually happens.
However, it has now been confirmed that plans are in place to make this a fact. The idea itself was first suggested in 2011 by Delphine Boyer, and the first stage was put in place with the development of a steering committee to decide if this idea was indeed feasible.
Well, not only does it appear to be so, but stage two of the process has now begun. This is the putting together of a pre-application that shows how both the cultural and heritage aspects of the Cognac Vineyards have a unique and universal appeal.
Help has been sought from academics from two La Rochelle universities, Claire Alliat and Jerome Piriou, to work on the project. Jerome is a Research Professor in Tourism Management, and Claire is a second year student in Master Business Development. They will work alongside the steering committee, which is represented by the Mayor of Cognac, Michel Gourinchas, along with other representatives from the Charente Maritime, Saintonge, Haute-Saintonge and Saintonge-Romane.
This will undoubtedly be a serious challenge for them, because to gain UNESCO status, it’s necessary to prove a myriad of facts. Some of these include valid information regarding the economic, social, architectural, landscaping and various territorial development. And proving all of these to the powers that be certainly won’t be a walk in the park…
If the project is successful, it will see the vineyards of Cognac being recognized as sites of extreme importance, along with other UNESCO World Heritage gems such as the Taj Mahal, Mont-Saint-Michel and the capital of Morocco, Rabat.