• What is an Appellation?
    • Recognizing & Developing an AVA.
    • Boundaries and Borders


APPELLATION Government Recognized and Certified Wine Areas/ Designated Growing Area With Unique Climate, Soil, Topographic Features.  They Establish Rules and Regulations Overseeing Viticultural & Vinicultural Practices.

  • Appellation Designations Indicate Nothing About Quality of Grapes Grown There. Over Time Grapes Get Reputation of Quality or Loyal Following.
  • Grapes Don’t Know the Borders or Geographic Boundaries of a Appellation or Country.  A Example of This is Grapes That Are Indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula. Only Centuries Later Did the Political Boundaries of Portugal and Spain Get Put In as Borders.

CONTROLLED APPELLATION of ORIGIN Prototype “Appellation d’Origine” or AOC.,/ AOP. System is a Complexed Categorization That Designates and Controls Names of Wine, Spirits and Foods Important Geographical Origins and Protects Historic Winemaking Regions.

  • AVA.  ~USA~  ~American Viticulture Area~
  • AOC.  ~France~  ~Appellation d’Origine Controlee~
  • DHC.  ~Austria~  ~Districtus Austria Controllatus~
  • DOC.  ~Ital~  ~Demoninazione di Origine Controllata~
  • GI.    ~New Zealand~  ~Geographical Indication~
  • DO.    ~Spain~  ~Denomacion de Origen~
  • GI.    ~Australia~  ~Geographical Indication~
  • WO.  ~South Africa~  ~Wines of Origin~
  • VA.   ~Canada~ ~Viticulture Area~
  • IG./ DOC. ~Argentina~Indicacion Geografica IG.- Regional, Provincial, Sub-Regional
    • Demominacion de Origen Controlada DOC.-  EU. Style Appellation System
  • **Refer to “@OLD/ NEW WORLD/ Locations” For Detailed Information.
  • PIONEERS~ ~Baron Pierre BoiseaumarieLawyer & Grape Grower
    • Successfully Obtained Legal Recognition of His Vineyard and Helped Lead AOC. Movement.
  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY?  Is the AOC., DOC., AVA. a Anti-Fraud System For Wine, That Defines, Protects and Guaranty Certain Aspects of the Wine Industry?
    • The Appellation System Was Born In the Wake of Grape Grower and Wine Producers Doing Shady Things In the Wine Industry That Compromised the Wine and Deceived the Wine Consumer.  The System Has Done a Great Job to Combat These Issues That Were Plaguing the Wine World.

HISTORY/ Back-Story AOC. Laws Were Developed In the Early Decades of 1900’s to Help End Wide Spread Fraud and Adulteration Across Europe. Part of the Law Cover Who’s Legally Allowed to Call Their Wine “Champagne” or “Bordeaux”, When at the Time Everyone was Using These Terms to Benefit Financially. As Part it Stated Geographic Delimitation and Specified Particular Area In Which Certain Wines Must Be Produced In-Order to State the Named On the Label. Over the Next Decades More Was Needed to Protect a Wines Integrity. Wrong Grape Varieties and Shady Wine Making Led to More Rules On Vine Varieties, Viticultural Techniques and Precise Vinicultural Methods. In 1930 INAO. Was Conceived to Enforce AOC. Rules of Laws. Over the Decades Other Countries and the European Union Have Taken Frances AOC. Model and Used it as a Guideline For Quality Wine Production.

  • The Designation DOC., AOC. AVA., DO., WO, is a Way to Define and Defend Terroir While Providing a Guaranty For Customers That the Declaration of the Origen and Quality of the Wine Are True. The Focus is On Quality Over Quantity and Guaranty the Traceability From Vineyard to Shelf.
  • The Controlled Appellation of Origin AOC. System is Now Used Across Europe For a Range of Agriculture and Food Item In Need of Quality Control. (Chickens, Meat, Cheeses)
  • Appellations Are Demarcated Zones, Delimitated Geologically and by Quality.  Commercial and Political Interests Sometimes Get In the Way of Idealism.
  • America Has Picked Up On the Concept of Terroir In the Guidelines For Their AVA. Program. AVA. Aren’t Restricted On the Basis of Yields, Brix Level at Harvest As In Europe.
  • With the Increase Details and Breakdown of Appellation Into Small More Defined Areas We a Seeing Smaller Appellation Within a Larger One.  These Appellations Have a Relationship Ofter Refered to as “Mother” or “Nested” Appellation.
    • ~Example~ Piemonte is a Region In North-West Italy.  Barolo is the “Mother” Appellation Within Piemonte and La Morra is Nested Within it.


  • PDO. (Protected Designation of Origin) Products That Are Produced, Processed and Prepared In a Given Geographical Area.
  • PGI. (Protected Geographical indication) Product That is Closely Linked to a Geographical Area in Which it is Produced processed or Prepared and Which Has Specific Qualities Attributable to That Geographical Area.
    • **Both of These Classifications Tie Wine to Its Place of Origin
  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY?  Is France Doing a Disservice to Its Wine Producing Future by Not Allowing the Experimentation of Planting Different Varietals In Different Regions?
    • Unlike Most of the New World Where Winemakers Are Free to Pursue and Experiment With Different Grapes In Different Appellation and Geography France Generally Has to Plant What Has Been Permitted For Centuries.  In France the Rules Where Created to Preserve the Tradition of an Appellation’s Specificities and Characteristics.  They Stifles Advancement of Wine Through Experimentation Due to Their Strict Guidelines. In the Past Few Decades Many European Wine Makers Have Come to American to Pursue Less Restricted Wine Making.
  • *Generally– Although Often Discouraged Across Europe a Grape Grower Can Plant and Make Wine From Any Grape of His Choosing and Beliefs. Unless the Grape is Permitted to Be Grown In a Specific AOC., DOC., Etc the Wine Produced Must Be Labeled and Sold Under “Table Wine” or “Vin de France” Ect. Moniker.
  • VITICULTURAL DISCLAIMERI Don’t Care About the Date a Wine Area Officially Received Its AOC./ DOC./ AVA.. If a Region Has Been Making Wine For 250 Years But Recently Received Its DOC. 20 Year Ago the 150 Years of Wine Culture Can’t Be Overlooked.
  • VITICULTURAL DISCLAIMERI Give Respect and Credit to the European Union For Their Effort to Consolidate Products Grown/ Produces In Europe.  As of 2018 All Products In France Are to Be Referred to as AOP. and In Italy DOP..  This Being Said, I Will Always Refer to Wines Produced In France as AOC. and Wine Produced In Italy as DOC..
  • HISTORY Ancient Greeks Would Stamp Amphorae With Seal of Region Grown.
    • Different Regions Established Reputation Base on Quality of the Wine.
    • Monks Continued This and Get Credit For Modernize Classification.
    • Argentina
    • Austria– Controlled Austria of District DAC.
    • Canada– Vintners Quality Alliance VQA.
    • Chile-
    • Europe- European Union EU.
    • France– Institut National des Appellation D’Origine INAO.
    • Italy– Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry
    • Portugal– Institute of Vines and Wine
    • South Africa– South Africa Wine & Spirits Board
    • Spain– Instituto Nacional de Denominacioned de Origen INDO.
    • USA.- Department of Treasury, Alcohol, Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau TTB.
    • Chianti DOC.    Established- 1716
    • Tokay-Hegyalja    Established-  1730
    • Douro DO.      Established- 1756

I Care Less About the Winemaker and Care Greatly About the Vineyard the Grapes Were Grown In and the Terroir.


Recognition of a AVA. is a Legislation and Bureaucratic Process. A “Petition” For the Establishment of a New AVA. Must Include All of the Evidentiary Material and Other Information Specified.

  • A AVA. Isn’t the Equivalent of a AOC./ DOC., Etc. They’re Both Based On Defined Geographic Areas, Climate, Geology, Soil, Geography, Elevation, but Unlike AOC./ DOC., Etc. an AVA. is Largely Unregulated In Terms of Viticulture and Viniculture.
  • The Development of a New AVA. is a Very Political Process With Different Sides, Jocking/ Intervening, for Geographic, Topographic and Political Influence.
  • There Must Be at Least 80 Acres of Vineyard Currently Planted.
  • Establishing Appellations/ Boundaries Isn’t and Easy Task. The Outcome of This Appellation Designation Affects Land Prices, Grape Prices, Wine Prices and the Reputation of the Vineyard and Winery.

Pioneering a New AVA. is a Cross Between and Test and a Trail Brazing Adventure.


1) Name Evidence

  • Name Usage
  • Source of Name and Name Evidence.

2) Boundary Evidence

3) Distinguishing Features

  • Climate
  • Geology
  • Soils
  • Physical Features
  • Elevation

4) Maps and Boundary Description

  • Maps
  • Boundary Description, State, Country, Township, Forest, and Other Poetical Entity Lines.
  • Highways, Roads, and Trails.
  • Contour or Elevation Lines.
  • Natural Geographical Features, Including Rives, Steams, Creeks, Ridges and Marked Elevation Points (Such as Summits or Benchmarks.)
  • Human-Made Features. (Such as Bridges, Buildings Etc.)
  • Straight Lines Between Marked Intersections, Human-Made Features or Other Map Points.
  • Supporting Material.
  • Comparison Charts to Surrounding Areas.

Establishment of an New AVA. Within a Established AVA.

  • 1) Name Evidence
  • 2) Distinguishing Features
  • 3) Boundary Demarcation/ Delimitation, Evidence and Description
    • Boundary Delimitation– When @ Parties Agree On a Common boundary In Principal.
    • Boundary Demarcation– When the Agreed Upon Boundary is Physically established by Roads, Rivers, Mountains, Stones, Pillars.


  • Just as Someone can Assess a Wine and Make Assumption of Quality or Diverseness of the Area it Was Grown, Someone Can Assess a AVA., DOC., AOC., Visually and Make Assumptions of the Quality of the Grapes Grown and Wine Produces In That Area.

Establishing an AVA. Isn’t Easy, Sometimes the Interest Are at the Intersections of Geography, Geology, Wine Politics and Personal Interests.


A Line That Makes the Limits of an Area, a Dividing Line Between Two Area, Something That Indicates Bounds or Limits.

  • Boundaries- Most Commonly Referred to a a Line That Contains Something.
  • Borders- Most Commonly Referred/ Used as the Line That Separates Two Countries.

PHYSICAL / TANGIBLE BOUNDARY- One That Can be Measured by a Geography or Topographic Feature.

  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY?  Grapes Don’t Know Geographic Boundaries or Locations?
    • Long Before Countries and Geographic Boundaries Grapes Have Been Growing.  The Grape Vine Doesn’t Know or Understand Geographic Boundaries. For Example the Albarino  Grape Has Been Growing On the Iberian Peninsula For Thousands of Years.  During the 1800’s the Governments of Spain and Portugal Put In the What is the Boundary Between the Countries.  The Grape Doesn’t Know the Boundary, It Only Knows That It is of the Iberian Peninsula.
    • River
    • Mountain
    • Range
    • Altitude
    • Water Body (Ocean, Sea)
    • Climate
    • Soil

ARTIFICIAL BOUNDARY- One That Can’t Be Measured.

    • Political
    • Economic
    • Social


  • LIEU-DIT-(Literal Translation is French For a “Said Location”)- Plot of Land That is Recognized For Its Own Topographic or Historical Specificities. Lieu-Dit Are Small Geographic Areas Bearing a Traditional Name Having to Do With the Environment or Local Heritage. The Name of the Lieu-Dit Usually Refers to Some Characteristic of the Place(a Tree, Hill, River), Its Former Use or a Past Event.
    • The Concept of Lieu-Dit/ Single Vineyard/ Cru Started In Burgundy.
    • Vineyard Quality and Price is All About Sight and Exposure.
  • CLIMATS- A Delineated Plot of Land That Has a Specific Geological or Climatic Condition.  Climats Confer Their Own Unique Terroir or Organoleptic Qualities Onto the Wine.
  • MONOPOLE- A Grape Growing Area Controlled by a Single Winery. It Can Be as Small as a Vineyard or as Large as an Entire Appellation.

**Refer to “BIBLIOGRAPHY/ SOURCES” For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.