INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF MANKIND

(...) application of the Traditional Process of production of "Vinho da Talha" to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind from UNESCO

In the last 20 years, the significant increase in interest and motivation of the traditional winemakers of Vidigueira county has assumed a preponderant role in the decisive impulse in the organization of the “Festas Báquicas”, in Vila de Frades. They, encouraged by the need to preserve and safeguard their cultural heritage, translated into the cellars, “talhas”, utensils and artifacts that instrumentalize the technology of winemaking of “Vinho de Talha”, fostered in their community the transmission of those traditions to the new generations. This has influenced the strengthening of the production of “Vinho da Talha” identity recognition, which obtained a celebratory dimension crowned during the “Festas Báquicas” of Vila de Frades.
 
The successive editions of these “Festas Báquicas” have increasingly consolidated the emergence of a new generation of producers whose role in the perpetuation of traditions has come to be recognized in the community. These were the ones who, taking on the challenges of Vitifrades, have played a responsible role in the cultural and economic development of this type of wine.
 
The process of qualification of “Vinho da Talha” has been obtained by the Regional Wine Commission of Alentejo (CVRA), which certified “Vinho da Talha de Anfora” in 2011, making it the first certified “Vinho de Talha” in Portugal. Since then, the strategic approach and involvement of local producers in qualifying their wines has led to the formalization of the application for certification by some of them. In this way, it is possible to see the insertion of “Vinho da Talha” in the regional, national, and even in the demanding and challenging international markets.
 
The decisive impulse led by the county of Vidigueira to launch the process of institutional cooperation with the goal of making the Traditional Process of production of “Vinho da Talha” Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind was established in the Declaration of Commitment of Vidigueira , signed on December 9, 2016, as part of the inauguration of the 19th edition of the “Festas Báquicas”, in Vila de Frades, by the representatives of the Vidigueira’s villages, Aljustrel, Cuba, Moura, Mora and Marvão, and also by the institutional representatives of the Directorate Regional Culture of Alentejo, Alentejo Regional Tourism Authority, Alentejo Regional Wine Commission and Vitifrades.
 
With the purpose of appreciate and protect the inheritance of “Vinho de Talha” in the county of Vidigueira, and the exceptional and unique value of the cultural and immaterial heritage left by the successive generations that knew how to transmit it, the technical proposal to initiate the preparatory process for the registration procedure in the National Inventory of Cultural Heritage (IPCI) of the "Production of Vinho de Talha in the county of Vidigueira" was unanimously approved at a meeting on January 18, 2017.
 
The county of Vidigueira launched the challenge to other counties in Alentejo with the purpose of preparing the process of presentation of the Traditional Production of “Vinho de Talha” to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind, having for this purpose promoted institutional and technical meetings involving the representatives of 22 counties in the Alentejo Region.
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