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IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 The pyramidal organization of AOC in France: a process of identification and valorisation of terroirs

The pyramidal organization of AOC in France: a process of identification and valorisation of terroirs


English version: Result of their history, some famous French wine countries such as Burgundy, Bordeaux or Alsace, have a hierarchical organization of their Appellations of Controlled Origin (AOC): AOC regional, communal, Premier Cru, Grand Cru. This organization is often called pyramidal organization. AOC wine regions with a more recent history, wanted to copy this organizational model to try to identify variations of their terroir and to make recognize them by INAO. AOC “Languedoc”, “Côtes de Provence”, “Touraine”, “Anjou”, “Muscadet Sevre et Maine”, but also “Côtes du Rhône”, are engaged in projects of pyramidal organization. This paper will present some projects undertaken, expectations and motivations of producers, the processing of applications by the INAO and the results of these projects. If the starting model is the same, we will see that every wine region progressing at its own pace, with the final different results.

French version: Résultat de leur histoire, certaines régions viticoles françaises comme la Bourgogne, le Bordelais ou l’Alsace, présentent aujourd’hui une organisation hiérarchisée de leurs AOC. AOC régionales, communales, premiers crus, grands crus, l’organisation est qualifiée de pyramidale. Cette organisation permet d’identifier à des échelles différentes les variations des éléments constitutifs d’un terroir. Des régions viticoles AOC avec une histoire plus récente, ont souhaité s’inspirer de ce modèle d’organisation pour essayer d’identifier et de faire reconnaitre par l’INAO les variations de leur terroir, en respectant la réglementation européenne sur les indications géographiques. Les AOC Languedoc, Côtes de Provence, Touraine, Anjou, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, mais également Côtes du Rhône se sont lancées dans des projets de hiérarchisation. Cette communication présentera quelques démarches engagées, les attentes et motivations des producteurs, l’instruction des demandes par l’INAO et les résultats de ces démarches. Si le modèle de départ est le même, chaque région viticole progresse à son rythme, avec au final des résultats différents.


Publication date: June 23, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2016

Type: Article



Institut National de l’Origine et de la qualité (INAO), la jasse de Maurin 34970 Lattes – FRANCE

Contact the author


Geographical indication, Terroir, pyramidal organization, complementary geographical denominations, Appellations of Controlled Origin (AOC)


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2016


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