appellation d'un vin

Everything you need to know about the appellation of a wine

A wine country par excellence, France has an ideal terroir for producing the best wines. And to classify the country's 3,240 different wines, 383 appellations are spread over 16 major vineyards. But what does the appellation of a wine really represent? Let's find out.


What is an appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC)?

A controlled designation of origin refers directly to the notion of terroir on which French wines are produced. Indeed, to obtain the AOC label, a wine must be made in strict compliance with the specifications established for the same geographical area, and according to precise techniques and know-how (grape varieties, vinification, aging, bottling, etc.). ).

Since 2009, the notion of AOC has been replaced by the notion of AOP (protected designation of origin) . This designation brings together the same requirements as the AOC, but it is now recognized at European level. An AOP wine is therefore necessarily an AOC wine, and the winemaker is free to mention the appellation of his choice on the labels of his wine bottles.


The appellations of the different wine regions of France

If an appellation refers to a terroir, it is easy to understand that each wine-growing region of France has its own appellations of controlled origin.

The wine appellations of the Loire Valley

Stretched over more than 1,000 km, the French Loire Valley vineyard produces white wines and some light red wines with fruity and delicate aromas. Among the appellations of the Loire Valley , we include:

  • AOC Chinon;
  • The AOC Muscadet-coteaux-de-la-Loire;
  • The AOC Sancerre;
  • AOC Vouvray;
  • The AOC Pouilly-Fumé...

The appellations of the Rhône valley

The wines from the Rhône Valley vineyards are mainly light and aromatic red wines, but winegrowers also produce white wines, rosé wines and sparkling wines. Among the appellations of the Rhône valley , we count:

  • The Côtes du Rhône AOC;
  • The Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC;
  • The AOC Côte-Rôtie;
  • The AOC Ventoux;
  • The Condrieu AOC;
  • The Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC;
  • The AOC Crozes-Hermitage...

Bordeaux wine appellations

In the Bordeaux region, wine production is renowned in France and around the world. It must be said that the 119,000 hectares of vineyards produce the greatest wines from 60 different appellations. We then distinguish red wines, intense and tannic, from fresher and more delicate white wines. Among the Bordeaux wine appellations , we include:

  • The AOC Sauternes;
  • The AOC Entre-deux-mers;
  • The AOC Saint-Émilion;
  • The AOC Les Graves;
  • The Côtes-de-Bordeaux AOC...

The appellations of the Languedoc-Roussillon vineyards

All along the Mediterranean coast, the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region covers 41,800 hectares and produces more than 2 million hectoliters of wine each year. Most production focuses on red wine, made from Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, but dry white wines, sweet wines, sparkling wines and rosé wines are also made. Among the appellations of Languedoc-Roussillon , we include:

  • The Coteaux du Languedoc AOC;
  • The AOC Côtes du Roussillon;
  • The AOC Pays d’Oc;
  • The AOC Pic Saint-Loup...

The appellations of controlled origin of the Champagne region

Champagne is obviously known and recognized for its Champagne wine . But, if it is the only wine region to produce Champagne, it is not limited to this type of wine, and pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay, typical grape varieties of the region, also make it possible to produce red wines. , sparkling wines and white wines. In Champagne, we mainly recognize 3 appellations:

  • The AOC Champagne;
  • The Coteaux-Champenois AOC;
  • The AOC Rosé-des-Riceys.

The Beaujolais appellations

Who doesn't know Beaujolais Nouveau, which is celebrated every year on the 3rd Thursday of November? Of course, the Beaujolais region is not limited to this festive red wine, and wine producers also offer excellent white wines and rosé wines, based on grape varieties very similar to those of Languedoc-Roussillon (syrah, cinsault, Mourvèdre, Clairette, Bourboulenc...). Among the AOCs of Beaujolais , we include:

  • AOC Beaujolais;
  • The AOC Juliénas;
  • The AOC Beaujolais Villages;
  • The AOC Brouilly...

Burgundy AOCs

Representing nearly 3% of French AOC vineyards, the Burgundy wine region produces rosé wines, white wines and red wines, but also Crémants, including Crémant de Bourgogne, a regional appellation renowned throughout the world. Among the Burgundy appellations , we include:

  • The AOC Burgundy Côte Chalonnaise;
  • AOC Volnay;
  • The AOC Bourgogne Côte d’Or;
  • The AOC Côte de Beaune;
  • AOC Côte de Nuits;
  • The AOC Nuits-Saint-Georges...

Provence wine appellations

Spread over 4 departments and 30,000 hectares, the vines of the Provence wine region are mainly composed of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and even Ugni Blanc. These grape varieties make it possible to produce the best rosé wines in the world , but also white wines and powerful red wines. Among the AOCs of Provence , we include:

The wine appellations of Jura

The Jura vineyard produces nearly 1,200 bottles of red wine, white wine and rosé wine each year, as well as sparkling wines. But the Jura region is also known for its famous vin jaune, vin de paille and macvin de Jura. Among the Jura appellations , we include:

  • The Crémant de Jura AOC;
  • The AOC Côtes du Jura;
  • The AOC Arbois...

Appellations of controlled origin in the Alsace region

The vineyards of Alsace are particularly known for producing excellent white wines, based on Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and even Pinot Noir. But there are also very good rosé wines, red wines, sparkling wines, as well as brandy and the famous Marc d'Alsace. The 3 appellations of the Alsatian vineyard are:

  • The AOC Alsace Grand Cru;
  • The AOC Crémant d’Alsace;
  • The AOC Alsace.

The appellations of the Savoyard vineyards

The small wine region of Savoie covers just 2,200 hectares, but it produces more than 16 million bottles of wine each year. Whether for white wines, rosé wines, red wines or sparkling wines, there are 3 AOCs in Savoie :

  • The AOC Savoie;
  • The AOC Roussette de Savoie;
  • The AOC Seyssel.

The controlled designations of origin of Lot-et-Garonne

Around the town of Agen, more than 6,000 hectares of vines produce red wines and rosé wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Côt and Cabernet Sauvignon. As for white wines, winegrowers cultivate Sémillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon. Among the appellations of Lot-et-Garonne , we include:

  • The Côtes de Duras AOC;
  • The AOC Côtes du Marmandais;
  • The AOC Brulhois;
  • The AOC Buzet.


French wines are incredibly rich, and a simple wine tasting can turn into an exceptional long journey. Then stop for a few moments in our different areas to discover the AOC wines to be found in our online store.


Other subject :

How to tell the difference between a grape variety and an appellation

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