The VITOUR LANDSCAPE Project is a result of the cooperation realised by 6 of the actual 10 project partners , namely Italy, Austria, France, Hungary, Germany and Portugal, under the previous project VITOUR (INTERREG III C 2005-2007).
At the end of that project, its partners prepared a common "International Convention on World Heritage Vineyards", where they agreed on the preservation and enhancement of their highly valuable cultural wine growing landscapes in the light of a sustainable development of their territories to be realized also through a "capitalisation on good practices". After VITOUR 4, other European UNESCO World heritage wine growing areas (Pico island, Montalcino/Orcia Valley, Wachau and Lavaux) joined the group of the ex VITOUR partners and, together, it was decided to present a new project, under INTERREG IVC, to improve and innovate local and regional policies for cultural landscape preservation and valorisation in their 10 European UNESCO Heritage wine growing areas.
In accordance with the above mentioned goals, the VITOUR LANDSCAPE Project partners have established a program of 11 technical seminars, one for each member site, to be held in the course of the first 21 months (Jan. 2010 – Sept. 2011), and which will focus their attention on the description, exchange and analysis of good practices in various fields of interest pertinent to the global theme of "landscape preservation and valorisation". All the contents of these seminars will be published online (in a database of good practices) and enriched with good practices advanced by other wine growing areas worldwide which intend to participating in the "VITOUR AWARDS" which will be assigned to successful cultural landscape preservation projects at the Salone del Gusto/Turin in Oct. 2012).
The good practices the partners would like to exchange during their seminars, but also those they would like to know about from other cultural landscape areas worldwide who intend to present innovating ideas to the VITOUR AWARDS in 2012, should focus on:
- respectful and harmonious spatial planning and landscape, urban or village development policies;
- respectful, harmonious and innovative architecture and landscape architecture for (UNESCO wine) cultural landscapes, particularly dry stone wall maintenance in vineyards;
- solutions for sound water-, river-/riverside- and coastal management;
- new strategies and methods to face (prevent, adapt to) climate change, erosion and landscape damages;
- new technologies for spatial management (GIS for land use monitoring) and for interactive guidance of visitors (GPS);
- preservation through sustainable use by land owners and users: sustainable wine and fruit growing techniques, sustainable forestry, management of green areas and maintenance of biodiversity;
- sustainable mobility and transport;
- visual, cultural and recreational valorisation of landscape values;
- strengthening of sustainable local/regional economic cycles to safeguard and enhance the cultural landscape.
After the first stage of the project, and starting from Sept. 2011, the partners will verify locally/regionally the feasibility of transferring selected good practices to their areas, with studies, analyses and participatory planning processes, at the end of which at least 5 partners will provide the first tools for a concrete and effective good practice transfer to their areas.
Contemporarily, based on the good practices exchanged and influenced also by the results of regional feasibility verification studies or initiatives, the partners will elaborate, together (and with the help of a team of 3 international experts), European Guidelines for wine growing cultural landscape preservation and valorisation, with special reference to endangered areas and vineyards (like steep vineyards).
All results of common exchanges and studies will be communicated through:
- press releases
- local events
- participation to 2 international events (EUROGUSTO in Tours and SALONE DEL GUSTO in Turin) and a
- Final Conference on sustainable development and landscape preservation at the Cinque Terre, in Nov. 2012.
- an interactive web 2.0 blog for visual enhancement of the partner areas' landscape (MyVitour), which will help to involve inhabitants, web-users and visitors and raise their awareness of the values to be preserved.