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Wine Spectator School

Class 5: Old World Model: France

the french model

Over the centuries the French have raised the growing and making of wine to high art; the best French wines are among the very greatest in the world. Since France provides the model for many of the world's wines, it is a good starting point.

Classifying Wine

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 are far-reaching and encompass many aspects of grapegrowing and wine production, including:

  • Area where the grapes were grown
  • Grape yields, or the quantity of grapes grown...

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