by Cindy Barnett | June 05, 2012

Appellations define and protect geographically named wines. This holds true in the wine industry, where the climate and soil which define the quality of the grapes grown can vary widely by region. For example, the name Sonoma Valley establishes that the wine being purchased comes from a part of the world known for its high quality wines. For centuries, unique names linked with specific locations have helped consumers make informed decisions when choosing a product. To protect these names, many regions worldwide have adopted various forms of what are commonly known as Appellations. An Appellation is a designated wine producing area which has a set of rules enforced by the country’s government that covers a range of criteria for growing and producing wine in the region to help produce reliable, consistent and quality wine. Some of the main countries using Appellations are France (split into areas given the name Appellation of Controlled Origin), Italy (areas given the name Denominazione di Origine Controllata), Spain (areas given the name Denominación de Origen), Australia (geographically defined into Geographical Indications) and the United States (geographically defined into American Viticultural Areas).

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