Sunday, July 14, 2024

Understanding AOP and IGP Wines: What Do They Mean?

Confused With All These Wine Labels - AOP vs. IGP, AOC, IGT, PDO, DO, VT, VdlT, Landwein, DOC, QmP Grosslage, IPR, ЗГУ and ЗНП?

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When choosing a bottle of wine, we often look at the wine-growing region, which indicates the grape varieties used and the type of wine produced. Labels are also important, but do you know the difference between AOP and IGP wine? Let’s delve into it.

Focus on AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée)

The AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée), or Protected Designation of Origin, is a European certification ensuring that wines meet specific standards based on their origin. Known as PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin) in English, this label highlights the unique characteristics of a terroir. AOP wines must adhere to strict rules:

  • Geographical Limits: Only specific municipalities can use the AOP designation.
  • Wine Types: Only certain types of wine (red, white, rosé, sparkling, still, etc.) are allowed.
  • Alcohol Levels: A minimum alcohol content is specified.
  • Grape Varieties: Only approved grape varieties can be used.
  • Yield Limits: The amount of grapes harvested per hectare is capped.

The AOP certification ensures wines distinctly represent their terroir and meet high-quality standards.

What is wine appellation?

AOC: The French Equivalent

AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) is the French equivalent of AOP. While AOP is a European label, each country has its designation: DOC in Portugal and Italy, DO in Spain, QmP Grosslage in Germany, and AOC in France. Managed by the INAO (National Institute of Origin and Quality), the AOC follows the same stringent guidelines as the AOP, linking French standards with the broader European framework.

Focus on IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée)

The IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée), or Protected Geographical Indication, is another European designation with more flexible criteria than AOP. It aims to promote wines whose quality and reputation are linked to their geographical origin. In France, the IGP is awarded by the INAO, similar to its counterparts in other EU countries (VT in Spain, IPR in Portugal, IGT in Italy).

An IGP wine must have at least one stage of its production (harvesting, vinification, bottling) in the designated IGP area. The geographical boundaries are larger than those for AOP, and a broader range of grape varieties is permitted.

AOP vs. IGP: Key Differences

Several criteria differentiate AOP wines from IGP wines:

  • Geographical Area: AOP is limited to a protected area, while IGP covers a larger region.
  • Grape Varieties: AOP allows fewer varieties, often less than ten, than IGP.
  • Yield Limits: AOP wines have stricter yield limits per hectare.

AOP wines reflect the unique characteristics of their terroir, while IGP wines are more varietal-focused. Many winemakers produce AOP and IGP wines to offer a diverse selection, including more accessible options not covered by AOP regulations. Wines with too much originality for IGP are often classified as local wines.

Producing AOP or IGP wine highlights the typicality of a terroir or geographical area and showcases the winemaker’s expertise. At Domaine de Berne, we offer AOC and IGP wines, ensuring a wide selection of quality Provence wines.

Bulgarian and European Wine Labeling Related to the Wine Origin, v.5., 2024
Bulgarian and European Wine Labeling Related to the Wine Origin, v.5., 2024

Learn more about the Bulgarian wine labeling related to its origin.

Abbreviation Index

  • AOC: Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (Controlled Designation of Origin) – The French equivalent of AOP, managed by the INAO, ensuring wines meet strict production standards.
  • AOP: Appellation d’Origine Protégée (Protected Designation of Origin) – AOP is the European equivalent of AOC. AOC originated in France in the 1930s, while AOP was adopted across Europe in 2009. The critical difference is that AOC is a national designation, whereas AOP is European. It’s important to note that a wine cannot attain PDO status without being designated as AOC first.
  • DO: Denominación de Origen – The Spanish equivalent of AOC.
  • DOC: Denominação de Origem Controlada (Portugal) / Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Italy) – AOC’s Portuguese and Italian equivalents.
  • DOP: Denominação de Origem Protegida, the Portuguese equivalent of DOP.
  • IGP: Indication Géographique Protégée (Protected Geographical Indication) PGI – A European designation promoting wines linked to a particular geographical area with more flexible criteria than AOP. Bulgaria uses the IGP and PDO designations.
  • IGT: Indicazione Geografica Tipica – The Italian equivalent of IGP.
  • INAO: Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (National Institute of Origin and Quality) – The French organization responsible for managing AOC and linking it with AOP at the European level.
  • IPR: Indicação de Proveniência Regulamentada – The Portuguese equivalent of IGP.
  • Landwein: German equivalent of IGT.
  • PGI: Protected Geographical Area, same as IGP.
  • PDO: Protected Denomination of Origin – The English term for AOP.
  • QbA:Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete / Prädikatswein, the German equivalent of PDO.
  • QmP Grosslage: Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (Germany) – A German wine classification indicating high-quality wine from a specific region.
  • VR: Vinho Regional, Portugeese equivalent of IGT.
  • VT / VdlT: Vino de la Tierra – The Spanish equivalent of IGP.
  • ЗГУ: Защитено Географско Указание, the Bulgarian equivalent of IGT.
  • ЗНП: Защитено Наименование за Произход, the Bulgarian equivalent of PDO.
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