Champagne world heritage success a ‘benchmark’ for Speyside

Speyside should follow the Champagne lead

MORAY AND SPEYSIDE should learn from the success of the French region of Champagne after it was accorded World Heritage status by Unesco.

The home of one of the most famous sparkling wine in the world was given the status because of its “outstanding universal value to humanity”.

It was an honour that came on the same weekend that Scotland received its sixth World Heritage site when the Forth Bridge was also accorded the same honour.

Now local politicians are urging the Speyside whisky industry to take note – and become inspired to make the region the seventh Scottish site with world heritage status.

Angus Robertson MP said: “The world heritage status for Champagne is highly deserved – but it should give us inspiration in Speyside to ensure that the heartland Scottish malt whisky region is equally recognised.

“The industry needs to be properly promoted at home and abroad – the status accorded to Champagne shows the way that world-class food and drink regions can succeed.”

There are over 1000 world heritage sites in 161 countries – and Moray’s MSP has also declared the Champagne success as a “golden opportunity” for Speyside to join them.

He said: “There is a general consensus that Speyside could capture greater benefit from being the home of whisky.

“Like Champagne it is also home to so many iconic symbols of what is a globally famous and successful industry steeped in tradition and craft.”

The politicians have for several years been urging the whisky industry for greater efforts in promoting Speyside.

Last year they met with bosses from distillery giants Diageo and Chivas Brothers, and only last month urged Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support greater efforts in marketing the region throughout the world.