On 4th September 1979 the denomination of Vins de Pays or Country Wine became official. Unlike the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controleé) it offers vignerons and winemakers latitude to experiment and improve on wine qualities, even making wines in the New World styles.
The L’Onivins (Office national interprofessionnel des vins) is the controlling body and Vins de Pays can come from around 100 zones and 5 regions throughout:
- Vins de Pays du Jardin de la France = Loire Valley
- Vins de Pays d’Oc = Pyrenees Orientales au Gard or Ardecgem / Vins de pays du Comte
- Tolosan = Pyrenees Atlantiques a l’Aveyron or SW France
- Vins de Pays de Comtes Rhodaniens = Drome, Beaujolais, Savoie, Jura, North Rhone
- Vins de Pays Portes de la Mediterraneé
All regional Vins de pays, like AOC are subject to regulations and tastings by professionals before the wine can bear the title of Country Wines. Expect value drinking in this category where most wines are labeled by grape variety!
Ditto for other European wines.
- More on Classifications; The Classification Tables (French Grand and 1er Crus of Bordeaux and Burgundy, Super Tuscans
- Regional and Country Wines of France
- The Top Level Wines of Italy
- Super Tuscans
- French Classification Tables