Champagne World Heritage Site Anniversary Celebration

14th June 2016

Champagne World Heritage Site Anniversary Celebration

On July 10th two Reconcilliation Walks will be held in the Champagne vineyards to mark the first anniversary of their inscription as a World Heritage Site. These will be the highlight of three days of events with the theme of reconcilliation.

This event is organized by Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars. It was this group who over seven years worked to get the Champagne vineyards inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO strives to build peace. This gave the group the idea of basing the anniversary on the theme of reconcilliation. The area was badly marked by two world wars. A reconcilliation mass attended by Charles de Gaulle and the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, was held in the cathedral in Reims in 1962. The building is also now a World Heritage Site. Reconcilliation though during this event doesn’t just have to be political or historical it can also be personal. People from all corners of the globe are invited to attend.

A series of events will take place from 8th July to the 10th of July and are centred on Hautvillers. It’s from here that the two walks will start. One is 11km long and the other 21km. They will take in part of the Montagne de Reims and the Marne Valley. There will be events along the way to help participants to discover or rediscover the area in a friendly , informative way.

During the three Reconcilliation Days there will be an award for people who’ve worked towards reconcilliation. The sculpture, Bulles de Reconciliations, was made by an artist born in the region, Mauro Corda.

It’s hoped in years to come that future anniversaries will be held in other Champagne making departments such as the Aube, Haute Marne or Aisne. The place chosen for the next anniversary will be announced at the end of the first Reconcilliation Walks.


Jon Catt

Tour guide for the Champagne region who lives in Troyes. Specialising in family run Champagne house visits in the Aube and the Marne plus wine tours in the Yonne and Côte d'Or.