Germany’s rich wine culture is receiving the recognition it deserves, now declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO! According to UNESCO’s expert committee, wine culture in Germany “shapes the rhythm of life,” and we couldn’t agree more.
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, with a mission to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. In addition to projects such as granting protection to World Heritage Sites (tangible landmarks or areas like buildings and monuments determined to have cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance), UNESCO works to preserve and promote intangible cultural heritage, or nonphysical intellectual wealth such as folklore, customs, beliefs, traditions, knowledge, and language that communities, groups and in some cases, individuals, recognise as part of their cultural heritage.
On March 19, 2021, wine culture in Germany was included in the national register of intangible cultural heritage on the recommendation of the expert committee of the German Commission for UNESCO at the Conference of Ministers of Culture.
This was based on an application submitted by the German Wine Academy (DWA) in October 2019 to the responsible secretariat for World Heritage in Rhineland-Pfalz at the Ministry of Science, Further Education and Culture.
The Committee of Experts is honouring wine culture in Germany as an open, lively and adaptable cultivation of a tradition that is firmly anchored in society. The reasoning also stressed that the wine culture in Germany includes social aspects, linguistics, crafts and cultural landscape as well as numerous festivals and customs. It shapes the rhythm of life of many people and therefore often contributes to local identity, especially in the wine-growing regions.
The preservation of wine as a cultural asset
“We are overjoyed and, together with all the supporters of wine culture in Germany, are very happy about this decision,” said the managing director of the German Wine Academy, Monika Reule. “This honours the achievements of the people who bring wine culture to life and develop it further. We are sure that with the inclusion in the national register of intangible cultural heritage, these efforts to preserve our wine as a cultural asset along with its cultural landscapes, will gain even greater public awareness and the appreciation they deserve.”
From the beginning, the application of the German Wine Academy was supported by the State of Rhineland-Pfalz through the Ministry of Economics, Transport, Agriculture and Viticulture and was advised by the Ministry of Science, Further Education and Culture. In addition, the German Wine Academy is especially grateful for the support of so many people who are actively involved in shaping wine culture nationwide, said Reule. This broad support was certainly one of the decisive factors for the success of the application.