appellation d’origine contrôlée
- feminine The french designation that a wine or cheese has an appellation d’origine which guarantees the origin of the grapes and the yield.
- noun a French wine classification, indicating that the wine comes from a particular area and is of a particular quality.
- (written as Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée)a system of laws and rules devised in France in 1935 to regulate French wine production and quality and define its origins. The rules are administered by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) and cover almost every aspect of wine production, from which varieties of grape can be planted in different appellations and which production methods can be used to make the wines to vine-planting density and expected yields. The rules govern every part of the process, including the area in which the grapes can be grown, the varieties used, the ripeness of the grapes when picked, the alcoholic strength of the wine produced and even the vineyard yields. Wines with this label are normally produced in state-controlled wineries to produce a consistent, reasonable-quality wine; this type of wine represents the top quarter of all French wines. Wine producers who have not earnt AOC status can be classed (in descending order of quality) as Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS), Vin de Pays, then Vin de Table.