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One of the most important criteria for a certain quality and distinctiveness of a wine is the controlled geographical origin of the grapes from which it was pressed. Controlled" means that the corresponding wine law requirements are also regularly and strictly checked. The most important reason is the protection against wine adulteration. Even in ancient times, there was the occasional custom of naming wines according to their origin. Among the oldest European designations of origin are the area for Chianti, defined in 1716, and the boundaries for port wine, defined in 1756. The great pioneer for a nationwide system, however, 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. After the Second World War, the rules for viticulture were perfected under the auspices of the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d'Origine).

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