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Tag Archives | appellations

Grapes in a vineyard in Veneto ready for harvest

Is Prosecco a grape or an origin?

A Prosecco debate rages in both Australia and New Zealand. The big question is whether Prosecco should be considered as being a grape variety or a geographical origin. Up until 2009, Prosecco was the name of the grape with which the sparkling wine Prosecco was produced in north-eastern Italy. But then the Italians changed the […]

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Bottles ageing at Champagne Fleury

Champagne inspires German quality sekt

VDP stands for Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweinguter and is a highly respected association of around 200 German top producers with their own set of rules for wine growing and wine making. VDP recently launched a new category of German high-quality Sekt. This new category, VDP Sekt, can, like the still VDP wines, be made in four […]

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Vineyards in Condrieu, Rhone

The truth about the size of the French wine regions

Sometimes it is said that statistics is an effective way to hide the truth. But often it is very interesting and sometimes surprising. New statistics – very detailed – were recently published on the wine production in France in 2017. In total, France has 745,044 hectares of vineyards. Of this, 446,000 hectares are AOP vineyards […]

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The Corton hill in Burgundy with Corton-Charlemagne

On Burgundy’s appellations and grapes

“Some of the most unique wines in the world – reds and white – come from Burgundy. A well-made red Bourgogne (or Burgundy wine if you prefer), made from the elusive pinot noir grape variety, is a wine of elegance, hardly found anywhere else. The fruity aromas are mixed with a hint of autumn leaves […]

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Chardonnay

IGP Pays d’Oc celebrates 30 year anniversary

A success story in the Languedoc celebrates 30 years. Robert Skalli and Jacques Gravegeal created IGP Pays d’Oc in 1987. At the time it was called Vin de Pays d’Oc. It became the most successful of all the “vin de pays” wines (that have changed name to IGP). But the success was not obvious from […]

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Pinot Noir in a grand cru vineyard in Corton

New appellations in Burgundy: Vézelay and Côte d’Or

Burgundy has a new village appellation. Bourgogne Vézelay has been upgraded to AOP Vézelay. The new village appellation has 70 hectares planted with chardonnay, the only grape permitted. Vézelay is located 50 kilometres south of Chablis and is more famous for its beautiful basilica than its wine. Burgundy has also a new regional appellation: Bourgogne […]

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The sea, the mountains and the sun in Sicily

New Zealand has defined 18 protected wine regions

Every wine lover is familiar with some of the well-established wine regions in New Zealand, but they may not always have been so well-defined and protected from abuse. From July 27 new rules govern 18 “geographical indications”. It is far from the complex systems of rules found in the Old World (Italy, France, Spain and […]

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Landscape with vineyards in Rioja

Rioja allows villages and sub-regions on the label

Traditionally, Rioja is simply Rioja. No vineyards or villages or the like on the label. But in the same way that Rioja wines are exciting and modern today, the rules also evolve. A little while ago, it was allowed to put a vineyard name on the Rioja label. Close on the heels of that decision, […]

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A barrel cellar tunnel at Bodegas Roda in Rioja

Rioja, now with single vineyards on the label

Henceforth it is allowed for Rioja to indicate the name of the vineyard from which the grapes come from on the label. Many producers have impatiently been waiting for this. Consumers want, says the Rioja producers, to have this precise information. The traditional Rioja categories will remain: joven, crianza, reserva and gran reserva. The single […]

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The Gigondas village, Rhone

New village appellations in the southern Rhone Valley

For most wine producers in France, it is important to be able to sell their wines with a so well defined geographical origin as possible. Some districts struggle for many years to be promoted in the appellation hierarchy. On November 16, three villages in the southern Rhone Valley succeeded. Sainte-Cécile, Vaison-la-Romaine and Suze-la-Rousse …were all […]

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New rules in Tokaj: puttonyos no more

An era is gone in the Hungarian wine region of Tokaj. Many of you probably remember Tokaj Aszú with its different number of puttonyos. It could be 3, 4, 5 or even 6. The more puttonyos, the higher the sugar content in the wine. Now Tokaj has simplified the classification of its wines and has, […]

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New ideas in Beaujolais: villages on the label

The Beaujolais producers are keen to prove that they do not only make Beaujolais Nouveau wines. One way to do this, they believe, is to give consumers a more accurate geographical indication on the labels. Therefore, from 2016 a number of Beaujolais-Villages wines will be able to put their village name on the label, in […]

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Serralunga in Barolo, Piedmont

Prestige “Barbaresco” will be Barbaresco once more

Angelo Gaja’s children obviously do not agree with their father’s decision to sell the estate’s three single vineyard Barbaresco – Costa Russi, Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo – as DOC Langhe instead of DOCG Barbaresco. Angelo Gaja starting doing this in 1996, possibly because he wanted to include some Barbera in the wines. Something […]

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Happy 80th anniversary to 75 French appellations

In 1936 the first appellations (AOC, appellation d’origine contrôlée) were awarded to 75 wine regions in France. The very first appellations were confirmed on 15 May 1936. It was Arbois, Cassis, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Tavel and Monbazillac. Then during the year a further 70 regions were confirmed. It is an interesting list that shows which districts were […]

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New wine hierarchy in Languedoc

The Languedoc growers have long been planning a structuring of the different appellations in a hierarchy. Earlier they planned to have a top appellation category called “grand cru”. However, they were rapped on the knuckles by the INAO. Grand cru, they may not use. When I was recently in the Languedoc for their annual primeur […]

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A new IGP called Terre du Midi

A new IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée, the category that has replaced vin de pays) will soon be launched in the south of France. It will be an IGP that brings together the departments of Aude, Hérault and Gard, all three of them in Languedoc. After several rounds of discussions it has now been decided that […]

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New classification for Cava in Catalonia

Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, is made in many different price ranges and quality levels. The best cava is a high quality wine and soon some of these better cava will be able to put a special mention on their label. The cava producers governing body has recently approved a new classification called Cava de […]

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La Clape in Languedoc finally has its own appellation

It was expected, and now it has finally happened. The district of La Clape in Languedoc has its own appellation. Starting with vintage 2015, the producers in La Clape – 25 growers and 3 cooperatives –can put AOC La Clape on their labels. This will be the first communal appellation in Languedoc that applies to […]

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Congratulations INAO, 80 years this year!

This year we congratulate the INAO which was founded in 1935, 80 years ago. Then it was called Institut national des appellations d’origine. Nowadays the name has changed to the Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité. But fortunately they kept the handy abbreviation. INAO is a public body working under the French Ministry […]

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Another appellation for Bourgogne, Cote d’Or?

Will Burgundy obtain yet another appellation? The Burgundians already have about 100 appellations, more than any other wine region in France. But this does not deter them. The new appellation now being discussed (again, for it discussed already four years ago) is Bourgogne Côte-d’Or. So far, it is the negociants that are the driving force […]

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Mas Amiel N Vers le Nord

Maury Sec, a new appellation

New appellations are created now and then in France. In 2011, a new wine with its own appellation appeared, Maury Sec. Maury is a small village down in Roussillon, in southern France. The village has long been known for its sweet Vin Doux Naturel wines. But now producers also can make a dry red wine […]

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