The Site

The site "Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene", which has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage Site nomination, is located in a small, hilly area of the province of Treviso in the Veneto region, where the effective interaction between man and the environment has resulted in a unique cultural landscape.

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Location

The site covers the hilly area that extends eastward from the Valdobbiadene municipal area to that of Vittorio Veneto, including a substantial portion of the wine production landscape of the Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin, where Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is produced.

Elements of authenticity

The area is characterised by a particular geomorphological conformation known as “hogback” – a series of steep, rugged slopes extending in an east-west direction, interspersed with small parallel-running valleys.
Over the centuries, the area’s inhabitants have learnt to adapt to this harsh environment, shaping its steep slopes, while perfecting their agricultural technique.

This ability to adapt is best expressed by the ciglione – a particular type of terrace that is covered not with stones, but with grassy soil- which, unlike other arrangements, helps to reinforce the slopes and reduces soil erosion.
Evidence of the use of the ciglione in the territory dates back to the 16th and 17th century appellations, while today, thanks to cartographic studies carried out on the nominated site, it is estimated that the ciglione accounts for 20% (2015 data) of the area, as opposed to 28% in 1960.
This reduction has mainly affected areas with gentler slopes, confirmation of the fact that the ciglione as a technique is best suited to, and has thus been maintained on, the steeper slopes. In fact, 67,33% are located on slopes with gradients of between 15 ° and 60 °.

The work of thousands of small-scale wine producers has allowed for the creation of a multifarious agricultural landscape both in terms of form and composition.
This landscape has been defined as “patchwork”, a highly fragmented and interconnected configuration characterized by numerous small vineyard plots, interspersed with wooded areas and unproductive elements, making up an effective ecological network that provides quality ecosystem services.

The criterion

The reason proposed for its Outstanding Universal Value as a cultural landscape includes a criterion (V), namely:

“To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land use or sea use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.”

The three zones

The site (the core zone) must be protected through the identification of two areas: the so-called buffer zone, and the commitment zone.
The buffer zone landscape is different to that of the core zone – while it is also hilly and of certain value, it is more gently sloping.
Within this zone, there are notable elements of value that are attributable to the main characteristics of the nomination and that, despite being more compromised due to urbanization, constitute a strong bond, and historical and geographical connection, between these gentler slopes and the more rugged hills of the core zone.
On the other hand, the commitment zone is much larger than the other two, and includes the Municipalities that have adhered to a Memorandum stipulated with the Region aimed at adopting common regulations for the management, protection and safeguarding of the rural landscape, in particular that regarding viticulture.

The Core zone

The core zone makes up an area of 9,197.45 ha, does not coincide with the administrative boundaries, and includes the hilly land that falls within the Valdobbiadene, Miane, Farra di Soligo, Pieve di Soligo, Follina, Cison di Valmarino, Refrontolo, San Pietro of Feletto, Revine Lago, Tarzo, Vidor, and Vittorio Veneto municipal areas.
The area has been defined in this way because it represents the attributes of the rural landscape on which the nomination is based.
In summary, the main identifiable elements are:

  1. the cordoned “hogback” geomorphological system which characterizes -both from a scenic point of view and as a limiting factor due to its centuries-old human settlement and agricultural use- the hilly area between Valdobbiadene and Vittorio Veneto;
  2. the widespread presence of grapevine cultivation on grassy ciglione, as an original solution in order to adapt to the steeply sloping hills, thereby guaranteeing hydrogeological sustainability, and the optimisation of viticulture techniques;
  3. the presence of a highly fragmented and interconnected configuration characterised by numerous small vineyard plots, interspersed with wooded areas and unproductive elements, making up an effective ecological network that provides quality ecosystem services.

The Buffer zone

The buffer zone constitutes an area of 9,769.80 ha, does not coincide with the administrative boundaries, and includes the hilly land that falls, in addition to all the other municipalities of the core zone, within the Conegliano, Susegana and San Vendemiano municipal areas.
It is different to that of the core zone – while it is also hilly and of certain value, it is more gently sloping.
Within this zone, there are notable elements of value that are attributable to the main characteristics of the nomination and that, despite being more compromised due to urbanization, constitute a strong bond, and historical and geographical connection, between these gentler slopes and the more rugged hills of the core zone.

The Commitment zone

The commitment zone is the area outside the core and buffer zones which includes a rather vast territory made up of, in addition to all the previously mentioned Municipalities, the Cappella Maggiore, Colle Umberto, Codognè, Cordignano, Fregona, Godega di Sant’Urbano, Mareno di Piave, Moriago della Battaglia, Sarmede, San Fior, Sernaglia della Battaglia, Segusino, Santa Lucia di Piave, and Vazzola municipal areas.
This area includes the Municipalities that have adhered to a Memorandum stipulated with the Region aimed at adopting common regulations for the management, protection and safeguarding of the rural landscape, in particular that regarding viticulture. It is therefore an additional tool to be used in the protection of the nominated site.