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Ask TheChampagneSommelier: What is an Appellation d’Origine?

Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson

We get a lot of questions on different topics about champagne. TheChampagneSommelier answers Your champagne questions. [read the full champagne story]

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Designations of origin protect the names of some agricultural products, guaranteeing compliance with a defined geographical area and strict specifications referring to traditional know-how. As such, “terroir” is a fundamental aspect of such a designation.

The appellation d’origine contrôlée (controlled designation of origin/AOC) was established in 1935.

CIVC – Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne

This sets the rules governing the making of a product on French territory, firstly on the wine and spirits market, before extending to all agricultural products. 

In 1992 the appellation d’origine protégée (the French equivalent of the PDO) was created, applying the same guarantees as the AOC but at European level. As with the AOC, the rules for producing an AOP-designated product (enshrined in a set of specifications) are subject to inspection procedures implemented by an independent body accredited by the French National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO). 

‘Champagne is a mythical product which forms part of France’s heritage. We have a duty to protect it so that our children can, in turn, perpetuate this unique wine.’

[ source CIVC.fr ] 

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