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What's An AOC Wine?

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All 28 EU states produce wine, and each has its own traditional winemaking methods and wine classifications, as well as the EU-wide wine quality classifications and production laws, so labeling can get very confusing.

PDO & PGI labels

PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products (food and wine) are "produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area, using recognised know-how". Each wine PDO is unique, specifying the place the grapes are grown, the grape varieties used and methods used to grow the grapes and make the wine. This category is translated into the relevant languages, and therefore has various acronyms depending on the country, see table below.

Each EU country then has its own quality categories and sets of rules that correspond to PDO, like AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) in France, which for wine always states the region, e.g. Appellation Bordeaux Contrôlée.

PDO & PGI wine labels

PDO & PGI wine labels

PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) is one step down from PDO, meaning a product is closely linked to the area it's produced, processed or prepared in, and which has specific qualities attributable to that area. It entails less rules on growing, production and grapes than PDO certification.

And again each country has a translation of PGI as well as it's own 'label' corresponding to PGI, for example VDP (Vin de Pays) in France.

Although the PGI production rules are not as strict as PDO ones, there are famous PGI wines that are respected more and cost more than their PDO counterparts. This happens a lot in Tuscany. Also, in order to compete with New World wine, some European producers are breaking free of the sometimes stuffy and restrictive world of these geographical categorisations altogether - some of the most interesting wines coming out of France and Spain now are being produced using non-traditional grapes and unconventional methods for their region, and therefore can't classify even as a Vin de Pays, despite being excellent quality.

Translations and local terms for France, Italy & Spain:

PDO & PGI table

Tagged in: AOC, Gin, gin, PDO, PGI. Categories: News.

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