Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Priorat: World Heritage Site?

Priorat wine producers and tourist entrepreneurs have already successfully blocked the massive deployment of wind farms in the county. Now they have requested UNESCO recognition of their natural environment as a world heritage site in order to protect their landscape.

The Priorat terrain is mountainous, with vines planted on the very steep slopes where only manual labour is possible. And that makes the wine more expensive. The vineyards, alongside the more traditional rural buildings and dry stone terracing are the strengths in their search for UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition. Priorat seeks to achieve a recognition that has already been obtained in other wine regions of Portugal and Hungary. Alvarez Domenech defended the Priorat model of development based on tourism and wine quality, something that in his view, only succeeds in protecting the landscape. And that is antagonistic to the massive deployment of wind farms.

Unesco is not like filling out a form. "It requires a broad social awareness and demand," says the spokesperson for the Platform in Defence of the natural heritage of Priorat, Roser Vernet. The platform has already begun a series of lectures in several villages to disseminate natural heritage values.