Pierre Cheval passed away on 14 January 2016. Cheval was a winegrower in Aÿ and for many years he was one of the Champagne Growers’ Union representatives on the Comité Champagne (CIVC). He was the vice-chair of its Communication and Champagne Appellation Specialist Committee from 2002 to 2009.
Pierre Cheval was also a member of a Champagne fraternity, the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, and was its commander from 2007 to 2009.
As the president of the Association Paysages du Champagne founded in 2007 to support the Champagne Region’s application for UNESCO World Heritage Status, Pierre Cheval enthusiastically got to grips with his remit, bringing with him all the winegrowers and champagne houses and uniting institutional stakeholders and citizens from throughout the wine-growing region, and beyond.
On 4 July 2015, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee met in Bonn and unanimously decided in a vote to include the Champagne Slopes, Houses and Cellars on its World Heritage List. Pierre Cheval delivered an acceptance speech in which he praised the fact that the Champagne Region’s “exceptional universal value” had been recognized. He also passionately conveyed the unique, symbolic and universal dimension of champagne wine. The best tribute that the Champagne Region can pay to him is to listen once again to his historic speech.
Pierre Cheval used his passion and his ability to bring people together for the benefit of the common good of the people of Champagne.