In the classification of wines, we distinguish the names (AOC), and table wine (or wine from France). Between the two, there is a very specific category of wine: the country wines, which we call today IGP wines (Protected Geographical Indication). Let's discover them.
IGP, new country wine
Classified between the designation of controlled origin (AOC) and table wine (VDT), country wine is the French equivalent of the European IGP mention (Protected Geographical Indication).
The term "country wine" was initially recognized by INAO in 1968, and has been the subject since numerous revisions. Today, if the official term is rather " IGP wine ", The winegrowers are free to mention" country wine "on the labels of their bottles, or even" IGP-Vin of countries ».
In France, we now have more than 150 IGP/VDP wines, mainly produced in the southern part of the country. This title thus allows consumers to have precise information on theorigin of wine And grape varieties (even if the limits of the country wine are very large), while it gives producers more freedom than with an AOC.
Country wines with little demanding rules
The IGP country wines must respect more demanding specifications than wines without geographic origin, but it is also much less uncompromising than for AOC/AOP wines.
Thus, country wine must obviously come from a precise geographic area, but it must also respond to rules on viticulture and vinification methods, on grape varieties ... On the other hand, the number of authorized grape varieties is wider, and the authorized yields are higher than for an appellation wine.
In addition, a country wine, whether it is a white wine, a red or a rosé wine, must have a minimum alcohol content according to its geographic area of production.
The different categories of country wine
The IGP/VDP wines Traditionally classifying according to 3 levels, depending on the area of their production area:
- The Regional IGP : this name is very large (Méditerranée IGP, IGP Val de Loire, Atlantic IGP, etc.);
- The Departmental IGP : there are 50 departmental denominations in France, such as the IGP Pays de l'Hérault, the IGP Var, or the IGP Alpes-Maritimes;
- The IGP of small zones : These small delimitations offer a terroir unit, such as the IGP Alpilles, the IGP Maures, the IGP Côtes de Thau ...
If the winegrowers of the whole of France produce country wines, almost 80 % of them come from the Languedoc-Roussillon region. In addition, country wines represent 25 to 30 % of the French wine production.
Why choose a country wine, rather than an AOC or a table wine?
Very often, if wine producers decide to devote themselves to the Country wines manufacturingIt is to enjoy greater freedom of expression than in the AOC system. They can thus leave free-short to their know-how to marry grape varieties, or use less strict vinification techniques.
In addition, country wine is also a way for some winegrowers to specialize in grape variety, or monoceepage wines, and thus be able to indicate on the label the name of the variety. the monocepage wine A part of very fashionable wines, particularly appreciated by current consumers.
Among all wines categories, the country Wine, Where IGP wine, is an excellent compromise between table wine and AOC. It testifies to the richness of the terroir, and leaves free-short to the expression of the winemaker, for a French wine which could well surprise you.