In France, the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) is a label that identifies an agricultural product whose stages of production and processing are carried out in a defined geographical area – the terroir – and using recognized and traditional know-how. The specificity of an AOC product is determined by the combination of a physical and biological environment with established production techniques transmitted within a human community that, together, give the product its distinctive qualities. These crucial technical and geographic factors are set forth in standards for each product, including wines, cheeses and meats. Other countries and the European Union have similar labeling systems. The European Union's protected designation of origin (PDO and PGI) system has now harmonized the protection of all geographical indications and their registration. When labelling wine however, producers may still use recognized traditional terms like AOC, and are not required to display the PDO and PGI logos or terms, mostly for aesthetic purposes. More information...

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