Quality Classification in Champagne
Designations of Origin, or AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée), are the highest quality classification in the Champagne region. To be eligible for an AOC designation, the grapes must be grown in one of the 319 villages classified as cru or premier cru. The wine must also meet certain criteria, such as being made from specific grape varieties and having a minimum aging period.
The AOC system was established in 1936 to ensure that Champagne producers were adhering to specific quality standards. Since then, the system has evolved to include additional classifications, such as the AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) and the IG (Indication Géographique). These designations have less strict requirements than AOC, but still indicate a level of quality and adherence to regional standards.
The AOC and other designations of origin are important because they help to protect the reputation of Champagne and ensure that consumers are getting a high-quality product. They also help to preserve traditional winemaking practices in the region and promote the unique characteristics of Champagne.
Examples of AOC Champagne include Krug, Dom Perignon, and Bollinger.
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