geographical indication (GI) is a catch-all term that is intended to accommodate the various approaches to geographical delimitation across the globe. It encompasses those straightforward systems typical of new world countries that control only the origin of the grapes, as well as the European controlled appellation model that also regulates conditions of production such as variety and yield.
GIs can vary greatly in size and consequently in the promise of specificity that they convey. South Eastern Australia and France’s Pays d’Oc are immense, covering many thousands of hectares, whereas the smallest, such as the Burgundy grands crus, cover just a few hectares. But in every case, they should be more than a mere indication of source. They must signify a link between a place and the characteristics of the wines that are produced there.