• French system of wine classification

    In France there used to have 4 classifications until 2012. EU-wide regulations started to take effect since 2009 and have now co-existed with the French system. 

    1) Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) wines sit at the top with about 50% of production. A wine with this appellation denoted its geographic origin (example: Appellation Bordeaux Controlee) as well as its wine style (dry, sweet, sparkling, etc.) but it is not a guarantee of quality. The regulating body L'Institut National des Appellations d'Origine, INAO does not give any guarantee. That responsibility rests with the producers (that's why the producer's name and address always appear on the wine label). The EU term for AOC is AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protege') which can be adopted by any food stuff. The French prefer to stay with AOC for their wines.
    2) Until 2012 Vins Délimite de Qualite Superiéure (VDQS) is the second category. This represented about 10% of production. Since the change of regulation these wines were promoted to AOC. And VDQS ceased to exist.
    3) The third is Vins de Pays (VDP) or countryside wine. Produced mostly in the Loire and Languedoc regions of France, this represents about 30% of production. VDP must indicate on the label the geographic region but not the wine style. Information required on the wine label would be the same as AOC but additionally the grape variety used is usually mentioned (example: Vin de Paye d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon). The EU since 2009 has given wine in this category throughout EU members a new term - Indication Geographique Protege (IGP). Vin de Paye producers in France have largely accepted the new term.    
    4) The remaining 20% of production is Vins de Table (VDT) or table wine (sometimes appears as Vin Ordinaire). The producers of VDT have embraced a new term since 2010 - Vin de France. This is the least regulated category The wine does not need to indicate any geographic origin only that the alcohol level must is mentioned.

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