At national level
In 2003, a preliminary request was submitted to the Confederation and ICOMOS, UNESCO's advisory body, with a view to launching Lavaux's application for inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The Lavaux vineyard, after being assessed at national level, was selected by the Confederation to appear on the provisional list of sites that Switzerland intended to present to UNESCO in the following years. First on the list, Lavaux was presented at the 2006 session.
The Application File
In March 2005, the AILU Application Committee began drafting the application file, which consisted of 6 main chapters: identification of the site, its description, justification for its inclusion, its state of conservation and management, and its subsequent follow-up. This file consists of the presentation report and its appendices. It was submitted to the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) at the end of December 2005.
Processing the File
The FOC forwarded the Lavaux file to the Swiss Ambassador to UNESCO, who officially submitted it before the 1st February 2006. ICOMOS and IUCN experts were appointed to review the dossier and visit the site in the summer of 2006. A number of observations were submitted by the experts to the AILU committee with a view to correcting or indeed extending the file so that the UNESCO committee could reach a final decision in July 2007.
Following the positive decision of the ICOMOS International (International Council on Monuments and Sites), transmitted on the 14th May 2007 to the Federal Office of Culture, the World Heritage Committee accepted the inclusion of Lavaux on the UNESCO World Heritage List at its 31st session held in Christchurch (New Zealand) on 28 June 2007. Once listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lavaux introduced a management plan for the site, mainly intended to guarantee its sustainability. The main components of this management plan were already included in the application file. They were further developed during their implementation. Discover Lavaux's listing criteria here: The criteria for the inclusion of Lavaux on the UNESCO site.
22 September 2007 – Celebration time in Lavaux
On Saturday 22 September 2007, Lavaux was celebrating! The whole region was involved in celebrating Lavaux's application for UNESCO World Heritage status. The AILU committee had decided that the festivities would take place regardless of UNESCO's decision on 28 June in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was an opportunity to thank all the municipalities, sponsors, associations, individuals, who supported Lavaux's application. It also provided an excellent opportunity for visitors to (re)discover the Lavaux vineyard and its various wine labels with a theme that centered on all of the five senses.