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Wine Word of the Day – “AOC”
Today’s word of the day is “AOC”. You may have often wondered what that designation means and why its important in the wine producing world.
“AOC” stands for “appellation d’origine contrôlée”, which translates in English as “controlled designation of origin”. It is a French certification that can be found on wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all of which are governed by the government bureau Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité (INAO).


Provins - AOC Grand Bouquet


The INAO mission is to guarantee that anyone buying products branded with AOC designations will receive a product that is produced according to a rigorous set of clearly defined standards. The organization  stresses the following points:


1. All AOC products are produced in a consistent and traditional manner with ingredients that originate from a specific geographical area; and


2. The products must be at least partially aged. 


All wines with AOC classification must undergo a quality control test. A blind wine taster must approve the wine in order for it to receive AOC classification. These tastings occur before the product is even bottled and are performed by a local expert who may well have ties to the local wine maker. Even if the local tasting expert is objective in his analysis, the AOC samples tested may not actually end up being the same as the finished product.


Switzerland’s AOC system follows similar guidelines mentioned above; however, it is not a classification system which is governed by INAO in France.


Our Grand Métral and Maître De Chais both have received the permission to use the AOC designation governed by a Swiss version of the INAO system.
Wine Word of the Day – “AOC” author
Sean Duncombe
Owner of swisswineimports.com
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