Unesco decided that Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars where champagne is produced and sold were culturally significant. It was one of 11 sites given World Heritage status by Unesco at a meeting in Germany on Saturday 4 July 2015.
Unesco said the champagne industry was "a very specialised artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise." The property encompasses sites where the method of producing sparkling wines was developed on the principle of secondary fermentation in the bottle since the early 17th century to its early industrialization in the 19th century. The property is made up of three distinct ensembles: the historic vineyards of Hautvilliers, where the monk Dom Perignon is said to have first invented the double fermentation technique that gives champagne its fizz, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, the Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims, and the Avenue de Champagne and Fort Chabrol in Epernay. These three components – the supply basin formed by the historic hillsides, the production sites (with their underground cellars) and the sales and distribution centres (the Champagne Houses) - illustrate the entire champagne production process.
These sites are only a few miles away from the village of Verneuil.