On Tuesday 17 April, Beaujolais was officially awarded the label “Global Geopark” by UNESCO. If Beaujolais is above all renowned the world over for the quality of its wines, it will now also be known for the wealth, complexity and singularity of its geological heritage.
For this label not only acknowledges the remarkable nature of the geology of Beaujolais, but also its territorial development based on the protection and promotion of its geological heritage. Daniel PACCOUD, President of the Joint Management Association of Beaujolais, instigator of Beaujolais’ application to UNESCO states: “The mobilisation and the work of a whole region has been rewarded today. Associations, scientists, communities, local authorities and the team of the Geopark, but also the businesses and the inhabitants put all their energies into the Beaujolais project. It is a recognition of the exceptional worth of this territory and the people that live here.”
And Dominique PIRON, President of Inter Beaujolais, the professional body that represents Beaujolais wines, adds: “We are extremely proud of having been able to contribute to the acquisition of this label, notably thanks to the extensive study of vineyard soils, carried out over 8 years. With more than 15,300 soil samples and nearly 1,000 trenches excavated in our vines, it is the most precise study of viticultural soils in the world.”
To date, out of 140 UNESCO Global Geoparks, 7 are to be found in France: in Haute-Provence, the Luberon, the Massif des Bauges mountain range, the region of Chablais in the northern Alps, the Ardèche mountains, the limestone plateaux of the Quercy, and now Beaujolais. The actions of the Geoparks are principally focussed on the preservation of their geological heritage, education, geo-tourism and international co-operation. This label is awarded in recognition of initiatives that are already underway, but also future progress, since it is a status that is subject to re-evaluation every four years.