Tuesday, July 30, 2013

French Wine Law Changes

In the French appellation system, new regions are added or removed from time to time.  

Here is a list of recently added AOCs, courtesy of the French Wine Society.  If you've purchased my book, The Pocket Index of French Wine, you'll want to note these new additions!


  • Alsace: Two communal AOCs have been added to the eleven previously approved for a total of thirteen. These two communes are Alsace Bergheim and Alsace Coteaux du Haut Koenigsbourg, and use of the communal name is limited to still white wines.
  • Languedoc: Formerly a communal extension of AOC Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet has been elevated to an independent appellation. The denomination continues to apply to six communes including Pinet, but the authorized cultivation area has been reduced in size by 18% to 2,400 hectares. In addition, base yield has been lowered to 55 hl/ha.
  • Provence: A fourth sub-region within AOC Côtes de Provence, Pierrefeu, has been approved and applies to red and rosé wines. The zone encompasses multiple communes on schist slopes and a calcareous clay plain. The other three sub-regions are Sainte-Victoire, Fréjus and La Londe.
  • Rhône Valley: There is an additional “named village” in the Côtes du Rhône Villages, Gadagne, bringing the total of this tier to eighteen. CDRV Gadagne may be sourced from five communes including Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne. The approved area is a few kilometers due east of Avignon in the Vaucluse department on the left bank of the Rhône River. The vineyards are situated on a long plateau of galets roulés.

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