This landscape covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history. It is located in the southern part of Piedmont, between the Po River and the Ligurian Apennines, and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and winemaking that has characterized the region for centuries. Vine pollen has been found in the area dating from the 5th century BC, when Piedmont was a place of contact and trade between the Etruscans and the Celts; Etruscan and Celtic words, particularly wine-related ones, are still found in the local dialect. During the Roman Empire, Pliny the Elder mentions the Piedmont region as being one of the most favourable for growing vines in ancient Italy; Strabo mentions its barrels.
The vineyard landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in Piedmont consist of a selection of five distinct winegrowing areas and a castle, whose names evoke profound and ancient expertise in the relationship between man and his environment. They reflect a slowly developed association between a diverse range of soils, grape varieties that are often native, and suitable winemaking processes. They offer panoramas of carefully cultivated hillsides, following ancient land divisions punctuated with buildings that lend structure to the visual space: hilltop villages, castles, Romanesque churches, farms, ciabots, cellars and storehouses for cellaring and for the commercial distribution of the wine in the small towns and larger towns on the margins of the vineyards. The serial property is outstanding for its harmony, and the balance between the aesthetic qualities of its landscapes, the architectural and historical diversity of the built elements associated with the wine production activities and an authentic and ancient art of winemaking.
Criterion (iii): The cultural landscapes of the Piedmont vineyards provide outstanding living testimony to winegrowing and winemaking traditions that stem from a long history, and that have been continuously improved and adapted up to the present day. They bear witness to an extremely comprehensive social, rural and urban realm, and to sustainable economic structures. They include a multitude of harmonious built elements that bear witness to its history and its professional practices.
Criterion (v): The vineyards of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato constitute an outstanding example of man’s interaction with his natural environment. Following a long and slow evolution of winegrowing expertise, the best possible adaptation of grape varieties to land with specific soil and climatic components has been carried out, which in itself is related to winemaking expertise, thereby becoming an international benchmark. The winegrowing landscape also expresses great aesthetic qualities, making it into an archetype of European vineyards.
The integrity of the serial property is satisfactory, as it contains all the elements required for full expression of its values. Considered as a whole, its five components fully express the cultural, residential, architectural, environmental and productive complexity of this winegrowing and winemaking region. It bears witness to an ensemble of centuries-old traditions that have gradually been built up. The integrity of the nominated serial property is fully justified, and all the technical and social processes associated with grape production and winemaking, with a high degree of expertise, are properly illustrated.
The authenticity of the landscape elements and the many cultural elements of the serial property has been justified. The use of the soils, the built structures and the social organisation of all the stages of the winemaking process, from tending and harvesting the grapes to vinification, are an expression of continuity of ancient practices and expertise to form authentic ensembles in each component of the serial property. The Piedmont vineyard landscape is undoubtedly one of the most harmonious and most consistent with the ideal of a “scenic” rural and vineyard landscape, accentuated by the gently rolling hills that provide many vistas and panoramas with subtle nuances.
Protection and Management requirements
The property is protected under the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code (Decree n°42 of 22 January 2004), under the responsibility of the Cultural Heritage Ministry and its regional agencies. It defines the responsibilities of the public regional and local authorities and the application procedures. The municipalities regulate and control permits for building and alterations. They do so with reference to municipal regulatory plans and urban development plans. The protection of the buffer zones has been confirmed by the Provincial Act of 30 September 2013.
The Management Association groups together the municipalities covered by the serial property and buffer zones, under the authority of the Region for the purpose of coordinating the conservation measures. This results in the implementation of precisely defined programmes, gathered together in the Management Plan. The Agreement Act embodies the commitment of each municipality and each administration to apply the protection measures and the sector conservation plans, and to actively participate in the management and enhancement of the property.