To be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the UNESCO World Heritage properties must be of Outstanding Universal Value and meet at least one of ten selection criteria. The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces meet criteria III, IV and V for its inscription.
Criterion (iii): Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces demonstrates its evolution and development over almost a millennium in a highly visible way through the well-preserved landscape and buildings that demonstrate a continuation and evolution of longstanding cultural traditions specific to its locality.
Criterion (iv): The evolution of the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, as evidenced on the ground, illustrates very graphically the story of patronage, control and protection of this highly valued wine-growing area, all of which contributed substantially to the development of Lausanne and its region and played a significant role in the history of the geo-cultural region.
Criterion (v): The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces is an outstanding example that displays centuries of interaction between people and their environment in a precise and productive way, optimising the local resources to produce a highly valued wine that was a significant part of the local economy. Its vulnerability in the face of fast-growing urban settlements has prompted protection measures strongly supported by local communities.
The integrity of a "cultural landscape" can be addressed by the sustainability of its overall setting. The Lavaux vineyards terraces benefit from an exceptional "added value landscape". The urbanisation of the settlements has had very little impact on the landscape, thanks in particular to the legislation in force. The integrity of the rocky banks, terraces and infrastructure within the property has been safeguarded by complex and costly conservation measures. The market towns and isolated old buildings have been regularly maintained and restored.
The current state of the Lavaux vineyard is the result of an infinite number of successive interventions and achievements, all of which responded to the constraints faced by its inhabitants and the evolution of their working techniques. Therefore, the authenticity of such a place is not to be found in its original components - which are no longer distinguishable today - but in the constancy with which the craftsmen of this landscape have followed the same principles of development of their territory. The nominated boundaries include all the elements of the wine growing process and the extent of the traditional wine growing area since at least the 12th century. The terraces are in continuous use and well maintained. They have evolved over several centuries to their present form; there is now agreement that change needs to be tempered by respect for local traditions.
You can find more information at whc.unesco.org.