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Abbreviation for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée; see below Appellation d'Origine Protégée,

Appellation d’Origine Protégée In France valid new designation AOP for the highest wine quality level "Wines with protected origin". The reason for this was the new EU wine market regime that came into effect in August 2009. It is now an EU-controlled source quality system prescribed that the wines fall into two classes, namely without and with indication of origin divided. However, the old designation AOC can still be used. The category VDQS (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure), introduced in 1949 and which had been considered an AOC preliminary stage, was deleted without replacement. The manufacturing conditions must be prepared according to AOP standards and the reference to terroir be detected. Only then can you be classified up to AOP.

The change from controlled to protected means a far more extensive and transparent set of rules. An independent control organization checks whether a wine complies with the specifications of the respective appellation. The controls cover the entire production chain, from the barrel to the bottle. The appellation then applies not only to a specific tank, but to the entire company. The connection to the terroir is therefore even more important than before at AOC. There are three levels: AOP Cru (wines from a winery, location or plot), AOP communal (municipality) and AOP regional (region).


The basis was created primarily by two farsighted men. The first was Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié (1890-1967), who, as the owner of the Château Fortia on the southern Rhone in the 1920s defined an area for 10 (later 13) grape varieties and wine due to the prevailing there climate and the soil type was particularly well suited. After long efforts, the borders were finally laid down in 1929, but it wasn't until 1935 that the area became under Châteauneuf-du-Pape classified. This was also a decisive impulse for the term terroir, The second proponent was the agricultural professor Joseph Capus (1867-1947). This took the cheese scandal as an occasion to denounce the procedure customary in Bordeaux, to produce wine from any grapes and in any method. Under his influence, the law in 1927 laid down guidelines for the winemaking extended. Among other things, it defined that only those grape varieties that were sanctified by loyal, old-established, local custom should be used. Capus thus pointed the right way and is therefore considered the godfather of the Appellationsgesetz, which is still referred to as “la loi capus” today.

Gradually, the permissible methods were considered pruning, maximum earnings, Degree of ripeness of the grapes and vinification methods added in the cellar. Initiated by Capus and Boiseaumarié in 1935, the “Comité National des Appellations d'Origine” was founded. This was the forerunner of the INAO that was founded after World War II. Since then,...

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