2.5 euro: Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture

Series: Portugal: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

2.5 euro Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture - 2011 - Series: UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Portugal

The Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. It occupies an area of 987 hectares on the Island of Pico, part of the Azores archipelago, which has been profoundly influenced by the action of man since the XV century. In this area, which is classified as a World Heritage Site, the vines are cultivated in a terroir hewn out of the blanket of lava, in rectangular plots of land commonly known as currais or curraletas. These plots are marked out with volcanic black basalt walls, which serve as protection against the elements of sea water and sea breezes, forming a peculiar labyrinthine pattern that just allows enough sun to enter to mature the grapes.
This symbiosis between man and the barren nature of the region, which results in the production of a singular wine and a notably beautiful landscape, is created with a deep respect for the diversity of flora and fauna present on the island, such as the endemic species of the Laurisilva forests, some of which are very rare and protected by law. On the obverse of the coin, designed by sculptor Paula Lourenço, can be seen a vine emerging from the volcanic stones, along with the crest of the Republic and its face value. On the reverse is the representation of the Pico volcanic cone, partially covered by cloud. At its base is an interpretation of the so-called curraletas. By minting this coin the Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office is continuing with the series dedicated to Portuguese UNESCO World Heritage Sites.