Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture

Registration Date

2004

Criteria


C iii: The Pico Island landscape reflects a unique response to viniculture on a small volcanic island and one that has been evolving since the arrival of the first settlers in the 15 th century.
C v: The extraordinarily beautiful man-made landscape of small, stone walled fields in testimony to generations of small-scale farmers who, in a hostile environment, created a sustainable living and much-prized wine.

Justification

Report of the 28th Session of the Committee

Paisagem da Cultura da Vinha da Ilha do Pico (Luís Silveira)

Brief Description

The «Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture» occupies 154, 4 ha of the second largest island in Azores archipelago. It consists of a remarkable pattern of spaced-out, long linear walls running inland from, and parallel to, the rocky shore. The walls were built to protect the thousands of small, contiguous, rectangular, plots from wind and salt seawater.
Evidence of this viniculture, whose origins date back to the 15th century, is manifest in the extraordinary assembly of the fields, in houses and early 19th century manor houses, in wine cellars, churches and ports. All these specificities were very well preserved in the places of Criação Velha and Santa Luzia, established in extensive lava fields distinguished by an outstanding geological and landscape variety and beauty, expressed in the variety of faunal and floral species and endemic cultures, protected for their rareness.

The vineyards producing the Pico wine were (and still are) planted in chinks of the long basalt benches, which concedes to the landscape its unique character. It was thanks to his persistence and hard work that Man succeeded in introducing twigs of a vine in a vastness of a very solid and dark rock, considered totally unproductive until then.
The extraordinarily beautiful man-made landscape of the site is the best remaining area of a once much more widespread practice.