The European Union wine growing zones
is a tool used in the common European Union
(EU) wine law
to regulate certain aspects of winemaking
. The zones differ in terms of climate
and examples of what is regulated by wine growing zone are required grape maturity at harvest and allowed levels of chaptalisation
. There are 21 wine producing countries
in the European Union, with 14 of them having significant levels of production. During the 2004-2005 vintage
, total European Union wine production was around 184 million hectoliters
(4.8 billion gallons
) which accounted for nearly 70% of total worldwide production. Of that total nearly 55% was classified as table wine
with 4% used in the production of grape based Distilled spirits
such as Armagnac
. The remaining 41% were produced as "quality wine"-wine that produced under one of the quality wine designation in a country's appellation
systems such as Germany
's QmP & QbA classifications
's Appellation d'origine contrôlée
's Denominación de Origen
(DO) and Italy
's Denominazione di origine controllata
(DOC) systems. In 1997, the European Union had over 3.4 million hectare
(8.4 million acres
) planted under vine
which accounted for nearly 44% of the world's wine, table
The wine growing zones and the wine regions
that belong to them are as follows:
- Zone A (the coldest), comprising Germany except Baden, Luxembourg, Belgium, United Kingdom and those countries in northern Europe where commercial winemaking is a very marginal business.
- Zone B, comprising Baden in Germany, Austria, and the French regions of Alsace, Champagne, Jura, Loire, Lorraine and Savoie.
- Zone C (the warmest), which is subdivided into:
- Zone C I a, comprising the French regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, Rhône and Sud-Ouest, some areas in northern Spain and most of Portugal.
- Zone C I b, comprising some areas in the far north of Italy.
- Zone C II, comprising much of Languedoc-Roussillon in France, most of northern and central Italy and most of northern Spain.
- Zone C III a, comprising parts of Greece
- Zone C III b, comprising small parts close to the Mediterranean coast of France and Corsica, southern Italy and Spain, some parts of Portugal and most of Greece.