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Monday, June 09, 2008

France wakes up, modernizes wine classifications

French Wine RegionsIn what can be described as a Very Big Deal, France has (finally!) hit upon a modernization plan to help its wines compete in the world marketplace, in which it has been steadily losing customers to New World wineries.

Up until now, tradition had ruled in France, and wines were known by they regions from which they came, rather than the grapes from which they were made. This made their labels largely inscrutable to many consumers who are more used to the straightforward method of labeling used for wines made in the majority of wine-producing countries. (There were some exceptions to the French rules; wines made in Languedoc, for example, could be labeled with the names of the grapes used.)

The new system will consist of three classes, Vignobles de France, Indication Géographique Protégée, and Appellation d'Origine Protégée. While the traditional regional labels will be maintained, winemakers will also have the option of explaining what grapes are in the bottle.
J. Silverheels Gray, 11:08 AM

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