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AoC to be AoP in France

26 Feb
Cote-Rotie Label

The French government, not too long ago, officially announced that the long standing AoC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée) system for wine is being replace by an new quality ladder with the top step being an AoP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée).

The AoP concept is suppose to be adopted by all EU countries over the next few years. So, we may be talking about the Italian Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) possibly becoming a Denominazione di Origine Protettivo (DOP).

For France, the complete wine quality classification stair-step was first put in place in 1937 with the adoption of the AoC and Vin de Table (VdT – “table wine”) steps. That is, the “quality” and “table” wine steps.

In 1954 the Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS) step was added to the system as a step being used as a place to classify land being considered for promotion to (then) AoC status.

In 1976 the Vin de Pays (VdP) step was added as a “superior table wine” that could better compete with varietally labeled wines in countries like the US.

So, the quality stairstep in France, until December of last year, was:

  Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AoC – top step)

  Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS)

  Vin de Pays (VdP)

  Vin de Table (VdT)

The new quality stairstep is:

  Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AoP – top step)

  Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS)

  Indication Geographique Protegée (IGP – replacing VdP)

  Vin de Table (VdT)

However, it will be a couple of years before you see many labels with the new AOP designation. For wines that have many years of life you will continue to see the AOC statement for decades to come.

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