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Regionalization of Wines

by Liana Bennett

We hear so much about appellations and the laws that govern each but do we really know what an appellation is?  Well, it is simple - an Appellation is a defined geographical area where grapes are grown and wine is made. 

Although there are some appellations that do not have official status with a governing body, most do and have a set of laws that determine which grapes can be grown within the location, which wines can be made as well as specific viticultural and enological practices.  The laws are set from lessons learned about what grapes grow well in the area, which pruning methods help bring forth the optimum growth and what methods of winemaking produce the best products.  A big reason for these determinants is to help the identity of that area as a respectable wine region.   Appellations can be as large as an entire country or as small as one acre of land.  The smaller the land area, the more specific and stringent are the rules. 

The appellations of the US as called AVAs or American Viticultural Areas.  These areas are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.  The appellations in France fall under the name AOC or Appellation d’Origine Controlle; Germany calls theirs VDQ; Canada – Vintners Quality Alliance or VQA; Italy refers to their system as Denominazione di Origine Controllata.  Look at just about any label and you are sure to find the appellation. 

From: The Beverage Alcohol Report - April 2006, Liana Bennett
The Beverage Alcohol Report (The BAR) was published on a monthly basis until May, 2006 compliments of Liana Bennett. Its main purpose was to further the knowledge, appreciation and general enjoyment of all alcoholic beverages. Your comments, questions and tasting stories can be sent to



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