In Europe, any wine has a label indicating its geographical origin, which protects origin from it and typicality. This system was developed in France in the first half of the XXth century and taken back in its major principles by several countries.
In France, there are more than 470 protected designations of origin. At Chez Greg’s shops, more than 300 appellations represented. In the new European system of naming, they are a matter of the category of wines of protected designation of origin (AOP), but they can also enter in a protected geographical indication (IGP).
An AOC is defined by rules which are:
- Geographical zone: She can be regional or village. In Bourgogne, it’s frequent that a wine is marketed under three names of naming which “fit”: for example, Grand Vin de Bourgogne (Regional appellation), Chablis Grand Cru (local appellation), Bougros (“climate”). In Bordelais, a village appellation as Margaux can cover 5 municipalities. Classified notions like: Premier Cru or grand cru depend on the regulation of the AOC.
- Grape variety: authorized vines are defined for a given appellation. It’s sometimes a monograph variety wine – Gamay for the Beaujolais – sometimes an assembly of grape variety -Merlot for red Bordeaux.
- Productivity: Every AOC defined maximal productivity, expressed in hectoliters of wine by hectares or in kilos of grape of champagne. This figure is very variable according to appellations: 66 hl/ha in Alsace, 30 hl/ha for wines in Banyuls.
- Method: Regulations of AOC govern the number of vine stocks crashed by hectare, mode of the grape harvest, techniques of deadheading, chaptalization, elaboration of wines, dates of putting on sale and marketed quantities. In certain regions, methods of production are a part of the definition of AOC. In Champagne, by example, precise regulations determine the processes of picking, pressing of grapes and farming of wines.