Controlled Appellations

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

controlled appellations, a method of labelling wine and regulating quality that is modelled on France’s appellation contrôlée system. Controlled appellations such as the eu’s pdo or protected designations of origin are distinguished within the broader category of geographical indications by the inclusion of strict rules governing viticultural and winemaking practices that reinforce a close link between the inherent characteristics of the wine and its place of origin. Typical controls will include restrictions on yield, grape varieties, and vine management techniques. The restrictions of the controlled appellation model make them less common outside Europe, and even within Europe, controlled appellations are criticized on the grounds that they limit innovation and tend unquestioningly to maintain traditional practices and tradition. (See Appendix 1 for a complete list of controlled appellations for which particular grape varieties are specified, with their permitted grapes.)