Culture and heritage

Heritage and governance

The wine and the vine are part of the multimillennial inheritance, cultural, religious, landscape and economic, factor of development of the rural territories. The vine and the wine, beyond their print in the artistic field, literature and painting in particular, are supports of

ancestral know-how, often resulting from the civilizations old, and developed locally in particular thanks to the scholarship of the monasteries. These financial assets also constitute identity bonds, supports of collective projects which place the vine growers in the middle of the sustainable development of their territory. They federate the profession around identity topics which associates, in a multi-field approach, the territorial collectivities and the whole of the actors of the territory. It is the base of the patrimonial but also ecological governance of the soils.

History and religion

The wine and the religion, since highest antiquity, have extremely close relationships, testifies to them the many ritual and sacrificial practices in bond with the vine. In ancient Greece, it was at the same time the object of a worship and a symbol of the culture. The Mysteries celebrated in honor of Dionysos gave rise to the theater. Rome had conflict relationships with Bacchus, god of the wine, and the orgies. This religious ceremony, which turned to the orgy, was a time prohibited. But the sacralization of the wine, blood of God, intervened only through Christianity. What had not been the case in the Jewish religion where it is object of sacrifice and blessing, nor at the Muslims, where it is at the same time object of repulsion and the supreme reward with the paradise. The climatic plagues were often associated with divine

punishments. Thus, J. BERLIOZ, stresses that the devil and the demons are regarded in a popular context as sources of calamities. To entreat these plagues, it was not rare to call on magic practices, relayed by the superstitions. For the church, this fear of the climatic risks was the occasion to sacrilize the prayers, psalms, litanies, speech in order to move away the calamities. The recourse to the saints (Saint-Vincent for example) also fits in a cultural approach in bond with the divinities. Beyond the pertaining to worship and cultural aspects, the religion strongly influenced history of the vine and the wine in the world.

Monasteries and abbeys, centers of scholarship and the artistic poles contributed to develop the vine in most European areas grace in particular to wine knowledge of the monks on art cultivating the vine (choice of the seedlings, cuts, soil) and working out the wine. Later the missionaries contributed to the development of the vine and the wine in the countries of the New World.

Like all other fermented drinks, the wine underwent an interdict of the Islamic religion, which considerably reduced the production of wines in the countries of the East, historically very wine. Within the Catholic religion persecutions of the Protestants obliged them to migrate, in particular towards South Africa, with creation by the Huguenot ones of a vineyard in the area of Franschhoek (“the area of French” in dutch language).


The winetourism takes a share growing in the valorization of the wine territories. It is also a factor which takes part in the image and the added-value of the wines of these areas. Parallel to the cultural attraction for the vine, the wine and tasting, “winetourisme” are often justified by an ecological approach of the cellars and terroirs . Thus emerges the concept “of eco-winetourism” which associates in particular, in connection with sustainable development, the landscapes, the biodiversity, as well as the éco-design of the cellars.

The esthetics of the terroirs testifies to this subtle harmony that the man knew to establish with nature. The landscape-vine growers testify to a single geological diversity and a cultural history of the vine and wine without equal. But the know-how of the man does not stop with the vine. Beyond the inheritance of the villages, churches or other historical masonries, the architecture of the cellars, associated with a éco-design, takes part fully in the attractivity of the wine-producing areas.


To drink wine is a pleasure, all the more intense as one is able to distinguish the organoleptic characteristics from them and to exchange with user-friendliness its impressions. As Talleyrand said it, by tasting a brandy,

Cellars, avenue de Champagne, Epernay

it is breathed, and then his glass is put back, and one speaks”. Still is necessary it to be able to analyze the characters of the wine and to express them. Knowledge – to taste been part of the good manners. Often regarded as an art, tasting is actually a science, being based on an oenological knowledge and the examination of the factors which affect their aromatic properties, basement, climate, type of vine, vinification. Like any science, she calls on the method and she uses a specific terminology.

Extract of the foreword of François Bonnal of the book

Discovered tasting of champagne, art, science and pleasure” (Découverte de la dégustation du champagne, art, science et plaisir).

(French version, Carine Herbin and Joël Rochard, editions Avenir Oenologie , 2006, FR).