Two millennia of winegrowing in France have enabled a host of different wines to emerge and mature in all of the country’s regions. Throughout the ages, generations of winegrowers have developed and enriched their wines in a relentless effort to improve the quality of their taste. To protect this unique expertise and to make it easier to explore this exciting heritage, a precise classification system was drawn up, harmonised on a European scale and revised in 2009. It determines different categories of wines:
Wines with a geographical reference
AOP : Appellation d’Origine Protégée (Protected Designation of Origin, PDO, in English)
These wines are produced on a specific terroir which, combined with natural and human factors, determines their quality and their characteristics. There are specifications that dictate how they are produced.
→ To find out more: visit the Confédération Nationale des producteurs de vins et eaux de vie de vin à Appellations d’Origine Contrôlées website.
IGP: Indication Géographique Protégée (Protected Geographical Indication, PGI, in English)
Formerly referred to as Vins de Pays, IGP wines are produced on land that gives them a certain quality, reputation or other specific characteristic. There are specifications that dictate how they are produced. One or more grape varieties may be mentioned on the labels of these wines.
→ To find out more: www.vinigp.fr
List of AOPs and IGPs on the INAOwebsite: http://www.inao.gouv.fr/public/home.php?pageFromIndex=produits/index.php~mnu=145
In Type/Catégorie select "4.1 Vins"
In Signe select "AOP" or "IGP"
Wines with no geographical reference
- "Vin de France" wines - VDF
The term "Vin de France" covers French wines that contain the produce of a combination of different French winegrowing regions (there is no regional geographic reference). The grape variety and/or year may be mentioned.
→ To find out more: http://www.vindefrance-cepages.org/fr/cepages-de-france