Appellation Contrôlée
: Pros and cons

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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France’s Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée designation is in general a more reliable guide to the country’s best wines than, for example, the qba category of supposedly superior wines in Germany, the liberally applied doc designation in Italy and Portugal, and its do counterpart in Spain (all of the last three modelled on the AOC system). The French system is by no means perfect, however. Policing remains a problem, and the Service de la Répression des Fraudes is probably understaffed. Contraventions of the regulations, particularly over-chaptalization, or chaptalization and acidification of the same wine, are difficult to detect (although a complex bureaucracy controls over-production). Misdemeanours are only very rarely publicized, and then usually only as a result of local politics.