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Appelation of Controlled Origin. A French system initiated in 1935 to safeguard the highest quality winemakers and vineyards from those low quality producers who were using the names of the higher quality vineyards on their labels. Criteria must be met to be designated AOC. This criteria focuses on such aspects as land, grape varietal, vitacultural practices, amount of yields, alcohol content, winemaking practices, and official tastings. The AOC is the highest classification given. The other classifications are (from top to bottom): vin délimité de qualité supérierure, vin de pays, and vin de table.

AOC, AC, Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée

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