The Appellation Contrôlée System cont. 3
Bottling in the region of appellation (i.e. if wines are shipped out of the
region in bulk, they lose the appellation) has been obligatory in Alsace since
1972 and in Champagne since 1919. All AOC méthode champenoise wines are
fermented in the bottle and thus naturally bottled in the region of origin.
It should be noted that the higher appellations of Premier and Grands Crus are,
with the exception of all the Crus Classes of Bordeaux, based on geographical
climates in the appellations, with stricter controls on yield and alcohol
With these controls, the maximum amount of effort is made to maintain quality in
French wine. A certain laxity in terms of yield and alcohol content is now being
balanced by the obligatory submission of samples for official tastings.
B. Vins Délimités de Qualité Superieur (VDQS)
This group represents the middle ground between the AOCs and the Vins de pays.
The same basic rules apply to the VDQSs as to the AOCs, but the range of grape
wider and the degree of alcohol sometimes lower.
By contrast, all wines must be submitted to a strict tasting panel to obtain the
VDQS 'label', without which it is declassified to a yin de pays or vin de table.
In recent years many VDQSs have been elevated to AOCs (Minervois, Coteaux
d'Aix-en-Provence) and a few Vins de pays have risen to join the VDQSs (Coteaux
Varois, Fiefs Vendéens).
C. Vins de Pays
The Vins de pays are of increasing importance both to the French economy and to
consumer, often this appellation covers new grape varieties planted in
traditional areas, or new areas of plantings.
In the Loire they are usually called Vin de pays du Jardin de la France.