You are using an old browser that may not function as expected.
For a better, safer browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

Log in Become a Member

For wine-growing regions, see under Origin.

One of the most important criteria for the quality and distinctiveness of a wine is the controlled geographical origin of the grapes from which it is made. The "controlled" means that the corresponding wine law requirements are also regularly and strictly checked. The most important reason is to protect against wine adulteration. Even in ancient times, it was customary to name wines according to their origin. The oldest European designations of origin include the area defined for Chianti in 1716 and the borders defined for port wine in 1756. However, the great pioneer of a nationwide system was France, where an appellation system (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) was adopted after the end of the First World War. This established a locally defined and controlled origin and production methods for agricultural products. Under the sovereignty of the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d'Origine), the rules for viticulture were perfected after the Second World War.

Herkunft als wichtige Einflussgröße für Terroir

Terroir & wine typicity

Closely related to the appellation system in France is the comprehensive term terroir, which has been internalised by producers. This encompasses the complex influence or interplay of climate (microclimate), soil type, grape varieties and, last but not least, the art of the winegrower to achieve the unmistakable typicity of a specific, precisely defined area. The French system served as a major model for the wine laws of most wine-growing countries in Europe and, in some cases, the New World. However, the laws in the countries not only regulate the origin, but also contain country-specific regulations for permitted quality wine grape varieties, pruning and maximum yields, as well as for the production and quality of the wine, such as minimum and/or maximum quantities for alcohol content,...

Voices of our members

Andreas Essl

The glossary is a monumental achievement and one of the most important contributions to wine knowledge. Of all the encyclopaedias I use on the subject of wine, it is by far the most important. That was the case ten years ago and it hasn't changed since.

Andreas Essl
Autor, Modena

The world's largest Lexicon of wine terms.

26,428 Keywords · 47,025 Synonyms · 5,321 Translations · 31,761 Pronunciations · 208,068 Cross-references
made with by our author Norbert F. J. Tischelmayer. About the Lexicon