Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC)

Definition - What does Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) mean?

Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) is a French system of appellation classification that was established in the 1930’s. The wines that fall under the AOC category are entitled to use the designation "AOC" on their label as a symbol of distinguished quality in terms of adherence to appellation labeling laws.

AOC is also considered to be the wine world’s appellation prototype, and in order to qualify as an AOC wine, a wine must strictly follow its prescribed guidelines.

WineFrog explains Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC)

AOC is a French certification granted to certain wines that are grown and produced in specific French geographical areas. These areas under AOC designation should follow specific rules in accordance with:

  • The area in which the wine grapes are grown
  • The varieties of grapes used in production
  • The ripeness of the grapes used in production
  • The alcoholic strength after fermentation of the wine
  • The vineyard harvest yields
  • Methods used in growing the grapes and producing the wine

There are currently over 300 French wines that are entitled to be labelled as AOC recognized by the Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité (INAO), including Anjou Villages in Loire, Bergerac in Southwest France and Coteaux de Die in Rhône.

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