Oenologie - Quelles différences entre IGP et AOC? - Les Grappes

What are the differences between PGI and AOC?

AOC, AOP, IGP... We often notice them on the labels of our bottles. What do they have in common? These three labels indicate the origin of a product. But can you really tell them apart?

Today, Les Grappes helps you decipher what's behind these names. We're sure you'll understand them all!

What is an AOC wine?

AOCs were introduced in the 1930s at a time when viticulture was in dire need of regulation.

An AOC is an appellation of controlled origin. A product bearing the AOC label is one in which all stages of production are carried out according to recognized know-how in a given geographical area, which gives the product its characteristics. AOC specifications are very strict. The winegrowers must comply with a large number of rules in order to retain their appellation d'origine contrôlée.

AOCs delimit production areas, set maximum yields and winemaking techniques , and authorize only certain grape varieties. The idea behind this label is to enhance the natural environment (soil, climate) through traditional processes that produce an original, non-reproducible product whose essential qualities are linked to the place of harvest.

The best AOC cuvées

To help you, here's our selection of the best AOC wines, by Les Grappes. Don't hesitate to discover these little nuggets.

Les Vieilles Vignes du Clos des Quarterons, AOC Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil : head for the Loire, where you'll find this magnificent cuvée. It's a wine that combines power and elegance, with aromas of very ripe black fruit, such as blueberry and blackcurrant. Subtle notes of violet are also present. The palate is complex and fruity. Its strength of character improves with age. In short, this is an exceptional cuvée, which perfectly sublimates the Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil terroir.

Château des Annereaux Lalande Pomerol, AOC Lalande-de-Pomerol : From the vines of Lalande-de-Pomerol, this cuvée reveals a purplish-red color with hints of tile, and a frank, fruity nose. The palate is surprisingly supple. A silky, slightly smoky wine. A Lalande-de-Pomerol AOC wine to be savored as soon as possible!

Gofiacus du domaine de Prapin, AOC Coteaux du Lyonnais : we just love this wine! Discover its floral nose of peony with hints of cherry. The palate is lively, with fruity sweetness and fine, light tannins. The finish is spicy. This AOC Coteaux du Lyonnais goes perfectly with a charcuterie platter and cheese.

What's the difference between AOP and AOC wines?

A wine can be designated as either an AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) or an AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). In both cases, these designations mean that the wine comes from an appellation. But do you know the difference?

AOP is theEuropean equivalent of AOC. AOC first appeared in France in the 1930s, while AOP was adopted by Europe in 2009. The only difference is that one is national and the other European. Note, however, that a wine cannot be considered PDO if it has not first obtained AOC status.

PGI wines

Since the 1960s, some wines have been known as vin de pays, but today this category no longer exists. A PGI is a protected geographical indication. This indication was introduced by European regulations in 1992 and initially concerned only specific food products bearing a geographical name and linked to their geographical origin. Since 2009, this has been extended to wines , which were previously considered vins de pays.

A PGI designates a product whose characteristics are linked to the geographical area in which it is produced or processed, according to well-defined conditions. Various food products benefit from this label, including meats, vegetables and fruits such as Périgord strawberries. There are 75 Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) for wine under local names.

How do I get a PGI?

To be able to label their bottle of wine as a PGI, our winemakers must comply with strict specifications and undergo a control procedure. This ensures that all operations involved in making the wine are carried out in the specified geographical area.

The best PGI wines

Discover a selection of our best PGI wines, 100% produced by our winemakers:

Collection 1927 vieilles vignes du Château de Serres, IGP Cité de Carcassonne: this cuvée is initially reserved for the winemaker's friends, but when the vineyard allows it, this wine is accessible to all. So enjoy! This cuvée is made from Grenache gris grapes. It's golden in color, with aromas of garrigue, juicy pear and lemony notes. A magnificent wine.

Chardonnay du domaine Sibille, IGP Vin de Pays d'oc:This Languedoc chardonnay is truly extraordinary! The nose is intense and opens with fresh fruit. The attack on the palate is fresh and balanced. The icing on the cake: this cuvée won a silver medal at the Concours des Grands Vins du Languedoc! So let yourself be tempted, and don't hesitate to let us know what you think!

Cuvée Carole, Maison Ventenac, IGP vin de Pays d'oc : a unique cuvée! This Chardonnay comes from Languedoc soils, particularly oceanic ones, giving it a surprising liveliness. The nose reveals notes of white flowers and candied lemon, with subtle toasted hints. On the palate, the attack is full, precise and mineral. The finish is long and delicious. A nugget we love to share!

The importance of specifications

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) wines have more flexible specifications than Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), but must still meet certain conditions. The specifications are less specific, but still controlled by an independent body. For example, a Protected Geographical Indication wine must have a maximum yield per hectare, whether white, red or rosé. There must also be a minimum alcohol content in the wine, depending on its geographical origin.

However, thePGI gives winemakers greater freedom of choice. They are free to choose the grape varieties they wish to grow, and their cultivation techniques, and it is with these choices that they can set themselves apart.

What are varietal wines?

PGI wines are interesting because many vins de pays producers specialize in varietal wines. Winemakers have realized that varietal wines, a wine made from a single grape variety, appeal enormously, depending on the variety and its popularity. What's more, they have the advantage of being able to indicate on the label the name of the often internationally famous variety (pinot noir, syrah, chardonnay, sauvignon...).

Things to remember

We might think that a PGI wine will be less good because its specifications are more flexible, but these are just preconceived ideas. Grape variety, winemaking techniques and terroir all contribute to making a wine good or not. Conversely, an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée wine will not always be good. An appellation does not guarantee the taste of a product, but it does guarantee itsorigin and know-how. To find out which wine you like best, test both!

Choose wines from wine-growers

At Les Grappeswe've unearthed a unique selection of our best harvested wine nuggets! AOC wine or IGO wine, to find out which wine you like best, it's up to you to try them both!

Discover all our vintages on Les Grappes

Easily order the right bottles directly from the harvesting winegrowers!

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