When you choose a wine, you are tempted to turn to IGP wine or an AOC wine. These labels are often assimilated to quality wines. But do you really know the differences between IGP and AOC?
What does IGP mean?
A protected geographical indication (IGP), as its name suggests, refers to the characteristics of a wine in direct connection with the geographic area of its production and its transformation. This label concerns many food products, such as meats, fruits or vegetables. On the wine side, there are 75 Viticoles IGP in France.
A protected geographic indication wine must meet strict specifications, even if it is more lightened than that of a controlled designation of origin (AOC). The winegrowers are then free to choose grape varieties and culture techniques, but they must, among other things, pay attention to the alcohol content, or maximum yield by hectare.
IGP wines are thus particularly appreciated, because many producers are specialized in grape variety wines. These wines, produced from a single grape variety, offer very specific aromas.
What does AOC mean?
The designation of controlled origin (AOC) has existed since the 1930s, and has emerged to regulate viticulture a little. An AOC label wine designates a product that has responded to a very rigorous specifications. The development of the wine must then respect different stages of production and vinification techniques, carried out according to recognized know-how. Wine must also come from a precise geographical area, which gives it all its particularities.
Obtaining the AOC label is much more complex than IGP, as long as the specifications are strict. The criteria relate to the maximum efficiency, as to the production areas, or the grape variety or the vinification technique.
The objective of the AOC is to honor the terroir (soil, climate), and tradition. It provides an original wine, which is not reproducible, and which draws all its qualities from its harvesting place.
IGP and AOC: What should we remember?
IGP, set up in 1992 for food products, and in 2009 for country wines, has more flexible specifications than AOC. However, it should not be deduced from it that an IGP wine is less good than an AOC wine. The appellation will never guarantee the taste and quality of a wine, and it is the grape variety, the vinification techniques and the terroir that will determine the quality of a wine, whether IGP or AOC. To find out which wine seduces you the most, the label will be a guarantee of quality, but nothing beats a tasting to get its own idea.
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