Wines in France are categorised under the following classifications:
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Appellation d’Origine Vin De Qualite Superieure (AOVDQS)
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Indication Geographique Protegée/Vin de Pays
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Vin de France/Vin de Table

Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC)
Rough translation: “regulated wine of origin”

Wines with AOC status are usually of higher quality. They are strictly ruled. Those rules cover methods of growing and producing, locality, grape-variety, minimum contents of alcohol etc. All these wines are analysed and tasted regularly. This very strict legislation guarantees the excellent quality of AOC wines. The word “Origine” is often replaced by the name of the place of origin of the wine, for example “Appellation Corbierès Controlee”.

Appellation d’Origine Vin De Qualite Superieure (AOVDQS)
Rough translation: “Higher Quality Wine of Origin”

In the hierarchy of wines, those come just after the AOC. They are also strictly controlled by the “Institut National des Appellations d’Origine” (INAO). Rules apply to the zone of production, grape-variety, minimum alcohol, methods of growing and producing. An AOC classification acts as a consumer guarantee that a wine is of a particular quality and, generally, of a particular style. It also states that the wine has been made in a designated area, in accordance with local wine production laws and regulations. All AOC appellation titles are derived from the place in which the wines are made, although the degree of geographical specificity varies greatly.

Indication Geographique Protegée/Vin de Pays
Rough translation: “Country Wine”

There are around 150 different IGP/VDP appellations in the Languedoc Roussillon region. Around 75% of all Frances country wines are produced in the Languedoc Roussillon region.  Winemakers must use specific grape varieties suggested by the “Conseil Interprofessionnel” (Joint Committee of Professionals). The regulations controlling IGP/VDP’s are less restrictive than for AOC wines. IGP/VDP wines are becoming increasingly popular as they are more reasonably priced and are perfect for every day drinking, now!

Vin de France/Vin de Table
Rough translation: “Table Wine”

About 40 to 50 percent of all wine produced in France fall under the Table Wine category. “Vin de Table” is the every day drinking wine of France. There are few restrictions and the rules governing this classification are set by the European Union. Typically a Vin De Table wine is a mix of several grapes and the labels do not have to mention the area of origin. If all the grapes used are grown in France then it would be called “Vin de Table Francais”.

To view the Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) regions in the Languedoc-Roussillon click here

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