Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wine'ing Wednesday: Wines from AOC, DOC and AVA in NYC

The Italians have the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata), the French have AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée) and the United States has the AVA (American Viticultural Areas).

The AVA does not enforce regulations as strict as the DOC or AOC but it is a step for American winemakers to control regional classification of wines. Recently the AVA, regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, approved Calistoga as the 15th Sub appellation of Napa Valley. Going forward, wines must be contain at least 85% of locally grown grapes to be labeled "Calistoga."

Most winemakers are embracing the new classification since it generally means they are able to increase the price per bottle but two winemakers are not so thrilled. The Calistoga Cellars and Calistoga Estate Vineyards ,which mostly produce wines from non-Calistoga grapes, have been given three years to switch over to 85% blend or will be facing a name change.

*Note to self: (1) Stock on Cellars and Calistoga Estate Vineyards bottled before 2010 – they may be become collector items. (2) Remember this little tid-bit for the next Company Christmas party. It may go over a whole lot better then the “This one time in Vegas I told my some guys my friend had a glass eye’ story.

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Italy
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). Italian wines classified as DOC is wine from a specific and controlled area with rules regarding permitted grape varieties, maximum yields, alcoholic content, and aging. The DOC designation appears on the label. As of 2000, there were over 300 DOCs.

France
Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), which translates as "controlled term of origin" is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO).

USA
American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Wine labels can include an AVA name if at least 85 per cent of the wine comes from that area. However, the usage of AVA names is not a strict appellation system – it is not comparable to the French AOC or Italian DOC classifications

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