An appellation is a geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown. The rules that govern appellations are dependent on the country in which the wine was produced. Historically, the world's first vineyard classification system was introduced by the Hungarians in Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary, in 1730.



In 1935, the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO), a branch of the French Ministry of Agriculture, was created to manage wine-processing in France. In the Rhone wine region Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumarié, a lawyer and winegrower from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, obtained legal recognition of the Côtes du Rhône appellation of origin in 1937. The AOC seal, or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, was created and mandated by French laws in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Before 1935, despite the fact that the INAO was yet to be created, champagne enjoyed an appellation control by virtue of legal protection as part of the Treaty of Madrid (1891). The treaty stated that only sparkling wine produced in Champagne and adhering to the standards defined for that name as an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée could be called champagne. This right was reaffirmed in the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.


Germany is unusual among wine-producing countries in that its most prestigious classification, Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP), is based on the ripeness of the grapes regardless of their geographical origin. Thus Germany's geographical classification, Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA), is akin to France's second-tier Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure.


The world's first vineyard classification system was introduced by the Hungarians in Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary, in 1730. Vineyards were classified into three categories depending on the soil, sun exposure, and potential to develop Botrytis cinerea. The subdvisions were: first-class, second-class and third-class wines. A decree by the Hungarian crown in 1757 established a closed production district in Tokaj. The classification system was completed by the national censuses of 1765 and 1772.


The world's second-oldest appellation control was introduced in Portugal in 1756, pertaining to port wine, which was produced in the region of the Douro valley.

North America


Canada’s appellations include British Columbia and Ontario. British Columbia is divided into four "Designated Viticultural Areas" ("DVAs"): Okanagan Valley; Vancouver Island; Fraser Valley; and the Similkameen Valley. Ontario includes three DVAs: Niagara Peninsula; Lake Erie North Shore; and Pelee Island. Both provinces participate in the Vintners Quality Alliance ("VQA"), which is modeled after the European system.

United States

TheAmerican Viticultural Area is for the United States. The first American Viticultural Area was in Augusta, Missouri, in 1980. Augusta's wine region approval was based largely on its long historical relationship with wine in the United States. The Augusta wine-growing area is a 15-square-mile plot of land along the Missouri River, which moderates temperature and provides an optimal climate for growing vitis vinifera.

List of appellations


See also

External links

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