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Posted by bender 04/19/2009 @ 17:09

Tags : appellation, terms, wine, food and wine, leisure

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Bordeaux Winemakers Assess Hail Damage - Wine Spectator
On the Left Bank, vineyards in the southern part of the Margaux appellation were worst affected, including Châteaus Palmer, Brane-Cantenac and d'Issan. Châteaus further north in the appellation, including first-growth Margaux, were largely untouched,...
Feds approve Chelan wine appellation - Seattle Times
Ryan Pennington of the Washington Wine Commission said Tuesday that the US Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved the area for appellation status. The approval will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday and take effect 30 days later....
Bedat & Co Ref. 384 Watches In Imperial Topaz And Garnet Vanadium - Vialuxe News
In the manner of all Bedat & Co creations, these timepieces are accompanied by a 5-year warranty and an AOSC certificate (Appellation Luxury d'Origine Suisse Certifiee). This latter certification assures the Swiss origin of the various components and...
Northern Valley Tour - Statesman Journal
It contains two important American Viticultural Areas, or sub-appellations recognized for their distinct characteristics. The Chehalem Mountains AVA, established in 2006, is the most northerly appellation in the Willamette. Dick Erath was the first to...
Burgundy's Côte de Nuits -
At the Grand Cru vineyard of Clos des Lambrays, for example, the genial resident manager and enologist Thierry Brouin-who used to work for France's influential vineyard appellation authority INAO-drove me up to the lovely 26.4-acre vineyard in...
American billionaire set to buy Left Bank chateau in Bordeaux -
The billionaire was also set to purchase Chateau Poujeaux in the Left Bank's Moulis appellation last spring until it was sold to another buyer at the last minute. Adams already owns Chateau Lagarosse in the Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux appellation,...
Washington State Gains Two Wine Appellations - Wine Spectator
Washington state has two new wine appellations to brag about. Within the past few months, the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has approved two American Viticultural Areas (AVA)—Lake Chelan and Snipes Mountain....
'Forgotten' Pope Valley seeks appellation status - St. Helena Star
The next step, representatives of the 13 wineries present unanimously agreed, is the really big one of creating a Pope Valley Appellation ... which, as Cleavage Creek Cellars owner Budge Brown observed, would “put Pope Valley on the map....
Get to know your Greek wines - Daily Press
Both of these wines carried the designation Appellation of High Quality which is in essence some attempt by the Greek wine industry to assure the consumer of the quality of the wine. The first red wine was the 2003 Hermes red wine from the Nema region...
Lake Chelan wine designation a big win for region's commerce - The Wenatchee World Online
An AVA is the American equivalent of what is known as an appellation in Europe. Bordeaux, Champagne and Cote du Rhone are well-known appellations in France in which there are government regulations that oversee where and how the wine is made....


An appellation is a geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown. Restrictions other than geographical boundaries, such as what grapes may be grown, maximum grape yields, alcohol level, and other quality factors, may also apply before an appellation name may legally appear on a wine bottle label. The rules that govern appellations are dependent on the country in which the wine was produced.

The tradition of wine appellation is very old. The oldest references are to be found in the Bible, where wine of Samaria, wine of Carmel, wine of Jezreel, or wine of Helbon are mentioned. This tradition of appellation continued throughout the Antiquity and the Middle Ages, though without any officially sanctioned rules. Historically, the world's first vineyard classification system was introduced in Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary, in 1730.

In 1935, the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO), a branch of the French Ministry of Agriculture, was created to manage wine-processing in France. In the Rhone wine region Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumarié, a lawyer and winegrower from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, obtained legal recognition of the Côtes du Rhône appellation of origin in 1937. The AOC seal, or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, was created and mandated by French laws in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Before 1935, despite the fact that the INAO was yet to be created, champagne enjoyed an appellation control by virtue of legal protection as part of the Treaty of Madrid (1891). The treaty stated that only sparkling wine produced in Champagne and adhering to the standards defined for that name as an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée could be called champagne. This right was reaffirmed in the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.

Germany is unusual among wine-producing countries in that its most prestigious classification, Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP), is based on the ripeness of the grapes regardless of their geographical origin. Thus Germany's geographical classification, Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA), is akin to France's second-tier Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure.

Historically, the world's first vineyard classification system was introduced in Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary, in 1730. Vineyards were classified into three categories depending on the soil, sun exposure, and potential to develop Botrytis cinerea. The subdvisions were: first-class, second-class and third-class wines. A decree by the Habsburg crown in 1757 established a closed production district in Tokaj. The classification system was completed by the national censuses of 1765 and 1772.

The world's second-oldest appellation control was introduced in Portugal in 1756, pertaining to port wine, which was produced in the region of the Douro valley.

Canada’s appellations include British Columbia and Ontario. British Columbia is divided into four "Designated Viticultural Areas" ("DVAs"): Okanagan Valley; Vancouver Island; Fraser Valley; and the Similkameen Valley. Ontario includes four DVAs: Niagara Peninsula; Lake Erie North Shore; Pelee Island; and Prince Edward County. Both provinces participate in the Vintners Quality Alliance ("VQA"), which is modeled after the European system.

The American Viticultural Area ("AVA")is for the United States. The only requirement to use the AVA name on the wine label is that 85% of the wine must have come from grapes grown within the geographical AVA boundaries. The first American Viticultural Area was in Augusta, Missouri, in 1980. Augusta's wine region approval was based largely on its long historical relationship with wine in the United States. The Augusta wine-growing area is a 15-square-mile (39 km2) plot of land along the Missouri River, which moderates temperature and provides an optimal climate for growing vitis vinifera.

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Appellation d'origine contrôlée

Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), which translates as "controlled term of origin" is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO).

The origins of AOC date back to the 15th century, when Roquefort was regulated by a parliamentary decree. The first modern law was set on May 6, 1919, when the Law for the Protection of the Place of Origin was passed, specifying the region and commune that a given product must be manufactured in, and has been revised on many occasions since then. On July 30, 1935, the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO), a branch of the French Ministry of Agriculture, was created to manage the administration of the process for wines. In the Rhône wine region Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumarié, a trained lawyer and winegrower from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, successfully obtained legal recognition of the "Côtes du Rhône" appellation of origin in 1937. The AOC seal was created and mandated by French laws in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. On July 2, 1990, the scope of work of the INAO was extended beyond wines to cover other agricultural products.

The INAO guarantees that all AOC products will hold to a rigorous set of clearly defined standards. The organization stresses that AOC products will be produced in a consistent and traditional manner with ingredients from specifically classified producers in designated geographical areas. The products must further be aged at least partially in the respective designated area.

Under French law, it is illegal to manufacture and sell a product under one of the AOC-controlled geographical indications if it does not comply with the criteria of the AOC. AOC products can be identified by a seal, which is printed on the label in wines, and with cheeses, on the rind. To prevent any possible misrepresentation, no part of an AOC name may be used on a label of a product not qualifying for that AOC.

This strict label policy can lead to confusion, especially in cases where towns share names with appellations. If the town of origin of a product contains a controlled appellation in its name, the producer (who is legally required to identify the place of origin on the product label but legally prohibited from using the full town's name unless the product is an approved AOC product) is enjoined from listing anything more than a cryptic postal code. For example, there are a dozen townships in l'Aude that have Cabardès in their names, several of which are not even within the geographical boundaries of the Cabardès AOC. Any vineyard that produces wine in one of those towns must not mention the name of the town of origin on the product labels.

In 1925, Roquefort became the first cheese to be awarded an AOC label, and since then over 40 cheeses have been assigned AOC status. The most recent was Banon in 2003.

On August 15, 1957, the National Assembly gave AOC status to the poultry of Bresse (Poulet de Bresse).

Lentils from Le Puy-en-Velay have AOC status.

Honey from the island of Corsica has been given AOC status. There are eight certified varietals of Corsican honey: Printemps, Maquis de printemps, Miellats du maquis, Châtaigneraie, Maquis d'été, and Maquis d'automne.

France recognizes two different AOC regions for butter, Lescure and Echire.

Many other countries have based their controlled place name systems on the French AOC classification. Italy's Denominazione di Origine Controllata and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita and the United States' American Viticultural Areas are both systems that followed the model set by the French AOC. The United States Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau even uses the legal terminology "Appellation of Wine Origin" to describe a vintage wine's location of origin.

While Spain's Denominación de Origen is very similar, the classification of Rioja in 1925 and Sherry in 1933 preceded the French AOC system by a few years and show that Spain's DdO system developed parallel to France's AOC system to some extent. Similarly, Germany's Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete is a wine classification system based on geographic region, but it differs from the AOC in important ways. Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete wines are commonly seen as less prestigious than Qualitätswein mit Prädikat, making it more similar to the Vin de Pays or Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure systems.

Portugal's Denominação de Origem Controlada, Austria's Districtus Austria Controllatus, South Africa's Wine of Origin, and Switzerland's AOC-IGP are all similar to the French AOC system as well.

It appears also that AOC influenced the development of the European Union's protected designation of origin (PDO) system.

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Medanos (appellation)

Malbec grapes.jpg

Médanos appellation is a geographic indication applied to wines produced in Médanos (Buenos Aires, Argentina) whose characteristics are a function and a direct result of the geographic area and the terroir in which the grapes are grown and the wines are produced and aged.

Given its proximity to the Ocean, the Médanos terroir consists of sandy soil over a limestone plate with long sun hours and a resulting high termic amplitude during the day.

Médanos is the only Argentine terroir dedicated to production of premium wines with oceanic influence.

The closeness to the Ocean and the strong winds in the area develop thick skins in the grapes that contribute to complex wines with intense colors.

This terroir has unique conditions for vineyards making its Malbec distinguishable and having weather conditions that produce outstanding wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon which are better suited to this environment than to the traditional Argentine wine producing regions.

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Rhône wine

The steep hill on which the Hermitage AOC grapes are produced, to the right, stands above the Rhône, on this northward view from the heights of Tournon-sur-Rhône.

The Rhône wine region in Southern France is situated in the Rhône river valley and produces numerous wines under various Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designations. The region's major appellation in production volume is Côtes du Rhône AOC.

The Rhône is generally divided into two sub-regions with distinct vinicultural traditions, the Northern Rhône (referred to in French as Rhône septentrienal) and the Southern Rhône (in French Rhône méridional). The northern sub-region produces red wines from the Syrah grape, sometimes blended with white wine grapes, and white wines from Viognier grapes. The southern sub-region produces an array of red, white and rosé wines, often blends of several grapes such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

The first cultivated vines in the region were probably planted in 600 BC. The origins of the two most important grape varieties in the northern Rhone (Syrah and Viognier) are subject to speculation. Some say the Greeks were responsible for bringing the Syrah grape from the Persian city of Shiraz. Others say the grape came 50 years later when Greeks fled from the Persian king Cyrus I. Yet others say the grape came from the Sicilian city of Syracuse, from whence circa 280 AD the Romans brought it and the Viognier grape. When the Romans disappeared so too did interest in the wine of the region. Rhône reappeared in the 13th century when the Pope moved to Avignon, at which time the production of wine expanded greatly. The wines were traded to such a degree that the Duke of Burgundy banned import and export of non-Burgundian wines. In 1446 the city of Dijon forbade all wines from Lyon, Tournon and Vienne, arguing that they were "très petit et pauvres vins" - very small and miserable wines. The name Côtes du Rhône comes from public administration in the 16th century and was a name of a district in the Gard depardement. In 1650, to guard against forgeries a set of rules was passed in an attempt to guarantee the origin of the wine. In 1737 the King decreed that all casks destined for resale should be branded C.D.R. Those were the wines from the area around Tavel, Roquemure, Lirac and Chusclan. Just over 100 years later, wines from other parts of the region were added to the C.D.R definition.

The various AOC wines of the Rhône Valley region are produced by over 6,000 wine growing properties including 1,837 private wineries and 103 cooperatives. Those vineyard owners which do not vinify their wines themselves deliver their grapes in bulk either to a winemaking cooperative, of which there are 103 in the region, or sell them to one of the 51 négociants (wine producers and merchants) who blend, distribute, and export on an industrial scale.

The northern Rhône is characterised by a continental climate with harsh winters but warm summers. Its climate is influenced by the mistral wind, which brings colder air from the Massif Central. Northern Rhône is therefore cooler than southern Rhône, which means that the mix of planted grape varieties and wine styles are slightly different.

Syrah is the only red grape variety permitted in red AOC wines from this sub-region. The grape, which is believed to have originated in or close to the Rhône region, is also widely known as Shiraz, its name in Australia and much of the English-speaking world, and has recently become very popular with consumers around the world. For wines bearing the Cornas AOC designation, Syrah must be used exclusively, whereas other reds from the northern Rhône sub-region may be blended with white wine grapes, either Viognier or Marsanne and Roussanne, depending on the appellation. However, while this is allowed by the AOC rules, blending with white grapes is only widely practiced for Côte-Rôtie.

Viognier by itself is used for white wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Marsanne and Roussanne are in turn used for the whites from Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Saint Joseph, and Saint Péray.

Northern Rhône reds are often identified by their signature aromas of green olive and smoky bacon.

The southern Rhône sub-region has a more Mediterranean climate with milder winters and hot summers. Drought can be a problem in the area, but limited irrigation is permitted. The differing terroirs, together with the rugged landscape which partly protects the valleys from the Mistral, produce microclimates which give rise to a wide diversity of wines. A feature of the cultivation of the region is the use of large pebbles around the bases of the vines to absorb the heat of the sun during the day to keep the vines warm at night when, due to the cloudless skies, there is often a significant drop in temperature.

The southern Rhône's most famous red wine is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a blend containing up to 13 varieties of wine grapes, both red and white, as permitted by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC rules. Other nearby AOC regions including Coteaux du Tricastin AOC, Côtes du Ventoux AOC, Côtes du Vivarais AOC, Lirac AOC, Tavel AOC and Vacqueyras AOC may contain even more varieties in the blend. Gigondas AOC, on the other hand, is predominantly made from Grenache Noir has a more restricted set of permitted grapes. Depending on the specific AOC rules, grapes blended into southern Rhône reds may include Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault. The reds from the left bank are full bodied, rich in tannins while young, and are characterized by their aromas of prune, undergrowth, chocolate and ripe black fruit. The right bank reds are slightly lighter and fruitier.

White wines from the southern Rhône sub-region, such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites, are also typically blends of several wine grapes. These may include Ugni Blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, and Clairette. Since about 1998 Viognier is increasingly being used and is also appearing as a single varietal.

Tavel AOC, produced in the special microclimate of the sillon rhodanien (the furrow of the Rhône) by some thirty producers including Château d'Aqueria, Domaine Maby, Domaine de la Mordorée, Domaine Pelaquier, is an elite rosé only, which has been referred to as 'the wine of kings".

Fortified wines (vin doux naturel) are made in the Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise AOC and Rasteau AOCs.

Côtes du Rhône AOC is an AOC that covers both the northern and southern sub-regions of Rhône. Typically it is only used if the wine does not qualify for an appellation that can command a higher price. Therefore, almost all Côtes du Rhône AOC is produced in southern Rhône, since the northern sub-region is covered by well-known appellations and also is much smaller in terms of total vineyard surface. This AOC is also used by the commercial blenders (négociants) who buy grapes in bulk from various parts of the region to bottle, distribute, and export on an industrial scale. This nevertheless makes it the most commonly known, produced, and distributed appellation of the region. Produce from vineyards surrounding certain villages including Cairanne, Rasteau and others may be labeled Côtes du Rhône-Villages AOC.

Red Côtes du Rhône is usually dominated by Grenache.

Other appellations falling outside the main Rhône area in terms of wine styles but administratively within it are Clairette de Die AOC, Crémant de Die AOC, Coteaux de Tricastin AOC, Côtes du Ventoux AOC, Côtes du Vivarais AOC, Côtes du Luberon AOC. These are more similar to Provence wines. In 2004 ten new appellations were officially added to the Rhône region, 9 in the Gard and one in the Vaucluse, which largely parallel the wines of Southern Rhône proper, while two appellations were discontinued for reasons of reforesting and urban encroachment.

In 2004, Costières de Nîmes AOC, which previously had been counted as part of eastern Languedoc, was also attached to the Rhône wine region. In that year, INAO moved the responsibility for oversight of this appellation's wine to the regional committee of the Rhône valley. Local producers of Côtes du Rhône-styled wines made from Syrah and Grenache lobbied for this change since the local winemaking traditions did not coincide with administrative borders, and presumably due to the greater prestige of Rhône wines in the marketplace. Such changes of borders between wine regions are very rare.

Many private wineries also produce wines of their own creation from the available varieties including sparkling and fortified wines, single varietals - particularly from the Syrah grape - and even brandies. These wines however are not usually covered by the rules of a VDQS or AOC, but are nevertheless of excellent quality. They are usually only sold on the premisses.

Several wineries produce wines from organically cultivated vines that, provided they comply with the rules for varieties, plant spacing, pruning and maximum yield, are admitted in the AOC.

The excess production of many domains and cooperatives is released as Vin de Pays which are marketed as Vin de Pays du Gard, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, etc., or are sold to blenders of Wine from the European Union, and mass food distribution for sale as own brands. Excess wines of the lowest quality, Vin de Table, occasionally become part of the wine lake and are reprocessed into industrial alcohol.

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Source : Wikipedia