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Wine Spectator School

Course: Bordeaux

Class 1: Bordeaux


All French wines are classified and labeled according to a system named "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée," which is called “AC” or “AOC” for short.

At its most basic level, the system assures authenticity: The grapes were grown in the geographic region stated on the bottle's label.

In fact, AC regulations go beyond vineyard location; they encompass many aspects of grapegrowing and wine production, including:

  • Area where the grapes were grown
  • Grape yields, or the quantity of grapes grown per acre
  • Grape varieties used to make the wine
  • Winemaking methods
  • Minimum alcohol levels
  • Length of time some wines must mature in oak or bottle
  • Taste, with many wines subject to taste tests verifying that the wines are typical of...

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