• What is Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC) ?

    The French word Appellation means ‘a name’, and d’Origine Controlée is of course ‘controlled origin’. Therefore the term means a name (place, village or region) where the production of the wine in question is identified to its original location, made according to the regulations laid down.

    AOC is the highest grade given to French wines by L’Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO), the governing body. The principal regulations are:

    1. The geographical limits of the growing areas.
    2. The grape varieties each region is allowed to grow.
    3. The maximum yield of wine per hectare of land allowed.
    4. The minimum levels of alcohol content in the finished wine.
    5. The wine must pass a taste and chemical tests.

    INAO then bestows the resulting wines the qualification of AOC to denote that they express their typical style and origin.

    As a rule the more tightly defined the AOC (down to a village, a chateau or a domain) the better the wine is likely to be and correlatively the higher the price.

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