The industry behind the production of the world's most famous sparkling white wine has been given world heritage status by the United Nations' Unesco.
The Paris-based organisation said yesterday that the vineyards, cellars and sale houses in the Champagne region of north east France have "cultural significance" and should be protected.
A Unesco spokesperson said that the eponymous industry was "a very specialised artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise."
Champagne was one of a number of sites handed world heritage status including another French site the Climats, terroirs of Burgundy.
This puts them on a par with other protected sites such as the Taj Mahal in India and the temple Angkor Wat in Cambodia.