Howell Mountain AVA
The Howell Mountain AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA of California. The AVA is located in the Howell Mountains within the Vaca Range on the northeast side of Napa Valley around the town of Angwin, overlooks the town of St. Helena, California; the boundaries of the AVA are dictated by vineyard land located at elevations at least 1,400 feet. Prior to Prohibition in the United States, the region was while known for its Zinfandel but in the mid to late 20th century Cabernet Sauvignon has become the dominant grape variety. Designated an AVA in 1983 due to research predominantly done by Bill Smith formally of La Jota and now W. H. Smith Wines, Howell Mountain was the first sub-appellation within Napa Valley AVA. Most vineyards in the Howell Mountain AVA are planted between 1,400 feet and 2,200 feet above sea level, well above the elevations in Napa Valley that are most affected by the cool fog and winds from San Pablo Bay; the mountain does get cool breezes directly from the Pacific Ocean, the high elevations result in a cooler climate than on the valley floor.
The soil in the appellation is volcanic with excellent drainage. Howell Mountain Vintners & Growers Association Retrieved Nov. 5, 2010. Pitcher, Steve. "Growlin' good grapes / Howell Mountain's intense fruit attracts winemakers and bears alike". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved Nov 5, 2010
Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird a reference to the color of the grape, its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, it is the most planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets; this flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares globally; the area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares in 2015. While Merlot is made across the globe, there tend to be two main styles.
The "International style" favored by many New World wine regions tends to emphasize late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple colored wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavors and leafy, vegetal notes; the earliest recorded mention of Merlot was in the notes of a local Bordeaux official who in 1784 labeled wine made from the grape in the Libournais region as one of the area's best. In 1824, the word Merlot itself appeared in an article on Médoc wine where it was described that the grape was named after the local black bird who liked eating the ripe grapes on the vine. Other descriptions of the grape from the 19th century called the variety lou seme doù flube with the grape thought to have originated on one of the islands found along the Garonne river.
By the 19th century it was being planted in the Médoc on the "Left Bank" of the Gironde. After a series of setbacks that includes a severe frost in 1956 and several vintages in the 1960s lost to rot, French authorities in Bordeaux banned new plantings of Merlot vines between 1970 and 1975, it was first recorded in Italy around Venice under the synonym Bordò in 1855. The grape was introduced to the Swiss, from Bordeaux, sometime in the 19th century and was recorded in the Swiss canton of Ticino between 1905 and 1910. In the 1990s, Merlot saw an upswing of popularity in the United States. Red wine consumption, in general, increased in the US following the airing of the 60 Minutes report on the French Paradox and the potential health benefits of wine and the chemical resveratrol; the popularity of Merlot stemmed in part from the relative ease in pronouncing the name of the wine as well as its softer, fruity profile that made it more approachable to some wine drinkers. In the late 1990s, researchers at University of California, Davis showed that Merlot is an offspring of Cabernet Franc and is a half-sibling of Carménère, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The identity of the second parent of Merlot wouldn't be discovered till the late 2000s when an obscure and unnamed variety, first sampled in 1996 from vines growing in an abandoned vineyard in Saint-Suliac in Brittany, was shown by DNA analysis to be the mother of Merlot. This grape discovered in front of houses as a decorative vine in the villages of Figers, Saint-Savinien and Tanzac in the Poitou-Charentes was colloquially known as Madeleina or Raisin de La Madeleine due to its propensity to be ripe and ready for harvest around the July 22nd feast day of Mary Magdalene; as the connection to Merlot became known, the grape was formally registered under the name Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. Through its relationship with Magdeleine Noire des Charentes Merlot is related to the Southwest France wine grape Abouriou, though the exact nature of that relationship is not yet known. Grape breeders have used Merlot crossed with other grapes to create several new varieties including Carmine, Evmolpia, Mamaia, Nigra and Rebo.
Over the years, Merlot has spawned a color mutation, used commercially, a pink-skinned variety known as Merlot gris. However, unlike the relationship between Grenache noir and Grenache blanc or Pinot noir and Pinot blanc, the variety known as Merlot blanc is not a color mutation but rather an offspring variety of Merlot crossing with Folle blanche. Merlot grapes are identified by their loose bunches of large berries; the color has less of a blue/black hue than Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and with a thinner skin and fewer tannins per unit volume. It ripens up to two weeks earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. Compared to Cabernet, Merlot grapes tend to have a higher sugar content and lower malic acid. Ampelographer J. M. Boursiquot has noted that Merlot has seemed to inherit some of the best characteristics from its parent varieties—its fertility and easy ripening ability from Magdeleine Noire des Charentes and its color, t
Second wine or second label is a term associated with Bordeaux wine to refer to a second label wine made from cuvee not selected for use in the Grand vin or first label. In some cases a third wine or fourth wine is produced. Depending on the house winemaking style, individual plots of a vineyard may be selected those of the youngest vines, fermented separately, with the best performing barrels being chosen for the house's top wine and the other barrels being bottled under a separate label and sold for a lower price than the Grand vin. In less favorable vintages, an estate may choose to release only a second label wine rather than to release a smaller than normal quantity of its Grand vin or a wine that would not be consistent with past vintages under that name; the practice has its roots in the 18th century but became more commercially prominent in the 1980s when consumers discovered these wines as a more affordable way to drink the product of a First growth or classified Bordeaux estate without paying the premium for the estate's label and classification.
The opposite phenomenon, of only releasing a top wine in exceptional years is seen in Iberia in "Gran Reserva" reserve wine and vintage port. From the producer's point of view, a second wine allows the winery to use a stricter selection for its Grand Vin, while still capitalising on its name and distribution channels in selling the second wine, which will be much more profitable than selling off lesser wine "anonymously" to be used in e.g. negociant bulk bottlings. The practice of establishing a second wine began in the 18th century as way for Bordeaux winemakers to be more selective of the wine going into their estate label wine without wasting the remaining wine. According to records, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande shipped its "second wine" of the 1874 vintage to the 1891 Exposition française in Moscow, although La Réserve de la Comtesse would not be for sale to the public until 1973. Château Brane-Cantenac may have had a second label some time in the 18th century according to Decanter, but more evidently, Château Léoville-Las Cases first produced its Clos du Marquis in 1904, Château Margaux followed with Pavillon Rouge produced from 1908.
Château Mouton Rothschild released the poor 1927 vintage named Carruades de Mouton, followed in 1930 by Mouton Cadet as a second label, selling wine from previous difficult harvests considered unfit as château Grand vin vintage at reduced prices to successful response. The estate has since expanded with more labels pushing Mouton Cadet further down its portfolio, with Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild the estate's second wine and Mouton Cadet evolving into its own brand with a distinctly different marketing strategy. In the drive to higher quality that has taken place in recent decades, additional Bordeaux châteaux have added second wine. With the increased market competition since the 1980s, estates became more selective in the assemblage stage, making greater parts of the production disposed to be either sold off in bulk, or blended into second wine. Having a second wine is a part of the recipe prescribed by Michel Rolland and similar wine-making consultants; as an example, Château Kirwan, a Third Growth in Margaux, added their second wine Les Charmes de Kirwan in 1993, after Rolland was brought in.
In many ways the production of a second wine mirrors the production of estate's Grand vin being made from the same vineyard, with the same blend of grapes and by the same winemaker. Some selection takes place after harvest, when plots that are underperforming or are planted with younger vines will be earmarked for the second wine, which means that they receive a "cheaper" treatment with a lower percentage of new barrels. Additional selection will be done after the barrel aging when the winemaker will isolate the best performing barrels that most reflects the house style of the estate label with the remaining wine being bottled under second or third and fourth labels; the second wine may have some hints and characteristics of the estate wine but is less polished and structured than the estate wine. An estate will promote its second wines and most wine labels will not mention the parent estate because of the desire to keep the estate associated with its Grand vin. However, some high end producers market their second wine as a "wine for earlier consumption" rather than "a lesser wine".
Second wines do not have the word "château" in their name, but they sport some other part of their winery's name to add name recognition. The second wines of classified growths, since they are different wines, are not themselves part of the 1855 classification or other classifications, they are, entitled to use the same appellation as the Grand Vin, as they originate from the same terroir. As an example, Les Forts de Latour is an AOC Pauillac just like Château Latour, but is not a First Growth or any other kind of classified growth. Reserve wine Vintage port
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. Bordeaux is centered on the Garonne River. To the north of the city the Dordogne River joins the Garonne forming the broad estuary called the Gironde and covering the whole area of the Gironde department,with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world; the vast majority of wine produced in Bordeaux is red, with sweet white wines, dry whites, rosé and sparkling wines collectively making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by châteaux. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine; the wine was introduced to the Bordeaux region by the Romans in the mid-1st century, to provide wine for local consumption, wine production has been continuous in the region since then. In the 12th century, the popularity of Bordeaux wines in England increased following the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The marriage made the province of Aquitaine part of the Angevin Empire, thenceforth the wine of Bordeaux was exported to England. At this time, Graves was the principal wine region of Bordeaux, the principal style was clairet; this accounts for the ubiquity of claret in England, though this is now used to refer to all red wine rather than the clairet style specifically. The export of Bordeaux was interrupted by the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War between France and England in 1337. By the end of the conflict in 1453 France had repossessed the province, thus taking control of wine production in the region; as part of the Auld Alliance, the French granted Scots merchants a privileged position in the trade of claret—a position that continued unchanged after the Treaty of Edinburgh ended the military alliance between France and Scotland. When the by Protestant kingdoms of England and Scotland, both ruled by the same Stuart king by this point, were trying to militarily aid the Huguenot rebels in their fight against Catholic France in La Rochelle, Scots trading vessels were not only permitted to enter the Gironde, but the French navy escorted them safely to the port of Bordeaux to protect them from Huguenot privateers.
In the seventeenth century, Dutch traders drained the swampy ground of the Médoc so it could be planted with vines, this surpassed Graves as the most prestigious region of Bordeaux. Malbec was the dominant grape here, until the early 19th century, when it was replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1855, the châteaux of Bordeaux were classified. From 1875 to 1892 all Bordeaux vineyards were ruined by phylloxera infestations; the region's wine industry was rescued by grafting native vines on to pest-resistant American rootstock. The major reason for the success of winemaking in the Bordeaux region is an excellent environment for growing vines; the geological foundation of the region is limestone, leading to a soil structure, heavy in calcium. The Gironde estuary dominates the regions along with its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, together irrigate the land and provide an Atlantic Climate known as an oceanic climate, for the region. Bordeaux lies at the center of the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers, which flow into the Gironde.
These rivers define the main geographical subdivisions of the region: "The right bank", situated on the right bank of Dordogne, in the northern parts of the region, around the city of Libourne. Entre-Deux-Mers, French for "between two seas", the area between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne, both of which are tidal, in the centre of the region. "The left bank", situated on the left bank of Garonne, in the west and south of the region, around the city of Bordeaux itself. The left bank is further subdivided into: Graves, the area upstream of the city Bordeaux. Médoc, the area downstream of the city Bordeaux, situated on a peninsula between Gironde and the Atlantic at the Left Bank of the Gironde. In Bordeaux the concept of terroir plays a pivotal role in wine production with the top estates aiming to make terroir driven wines that reflect the place they are from from grapes collected from a single vineyard; the soil of Bordeaux is composed of gravel, sandy stone, clay. The region's best vineyards are located on the well-drained gravel soils that are found near the Gironde river.
An old adage in Bordeaux is the best estates. The majority of land facing riverward is occupied by classified estates. Red Bordeaux is made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carménère. Today Carménère is used, with Château Clerc Milon, a fifth growth Bordeaux, being one of the few to still retain Carménère vines; as a broad generalisation, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Typical top-quality Châteaux blends are 15 % Cabernet Franc and 15 % Merlot; this is referred to as the "Bordeaux Blend". Merlot tends to predominate in Saint-Émilion and the other right bank appellations; these Right Bank blends from top-quality Châteaux are 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. White Bordeaux is predominantly, in the case of the sweet Sauternes, made f
Jancis Mary Robinson OBE, ComMA, MW is a British wine critic and wine writer. She writes a weekly column for the Financial Times, writes for her website JancisRobinson.com, updated daily. She provides advice for the wine cellar of Queen Elizabeth II. Robinson was born in Cumbria, studied mathematics and philosophy at St Anne's College, University of Oxford, worked for a travel company after leaving university. Robinson started her wine writing career on 1 December 1975 when she became assistant editor for the trade magazine Wine & Spirit. In 1984, she became the first person outside the wine trade to become a Master of Wine. From 1995 until she resigned in 2010 she served as British Airways' wine consultant, supervised the BA Concorde cellar luxury selection; as a wine writer, she has become one of the world's leading writers of educational and encyclopedic material on wine and was described by Decanter magazine as'the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world'. The Oxford Companion to Wine, edited by Robinson, is considered to be the most comprehensive wine encyclopedia in the world.
The first edition was published in 1994, took five years to write after she was signed on as editor in 1988. In addition, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Robinson is one of the world's leading wine atlases. In 1995, Jancis Robinson appeared in a 10-episode wine course on BBC 2 television; this series was reissued on DVD. A book titled Jancis Robinson's Wine Course was written to accompany the series and has gone through several editions. In 2015 she launched Mastering Wine - Shortcuts to Success, on www.udemy.com. She has an honorary doctorate from the Open University, was made an OBE in 2003, among numerous other awards for her writing, her accolades include multiple Glenfiddich Awards and André Simon Memorial Awards, a selection as the Decanter "1999 Woman of the Year". In 2016, she was made an Officier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole, was given the German VDP association's highest honour and won for fourth James Beard Award in the US. Following a difference of opinion with Robert Parker over the 2003 vintage of Château Pavie, the following media coverage described a "war of words" between the two critics.
Less dramatic than the predominant press view and Parker have a cordial relationship. In 2012, Allen Lane in the UK and Ecco in the US published a 1,200-page book called Wine Grapes co-authored by Robinson with Julia Harding MW and Jose Vouillamoz which won every major wine book award; the book won six major wine book awards. Robinson is married to author of The Art of the Restaurateur. Officer of the Order of the British Empire, United Kingdom Officer of the Order of Agricultural Merit, France Commander of the Order of Entrepreneurial Merit, Portugal Robinson, Jancis; the 24-Hour Wine Expert. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-141-98181-9. Robinson, Jancis. American Wine. University of California Press. ISBN 978-1-84533-528-1. ISBN 978-0-520-27321-4. Robinson, Jancis. Wine Grapes. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-84614-446-2. Johnson, Hugh; the World Atlas of Wine. Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1-84533-301-0. Robinson, Jancis, ed.. The Oxford Companion to Wine. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-870538-3. Robinson, Jancis. Jancis Robinson's Wine Course.
Abbeville Press Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7892-0791-3. Robinson, Jancis. How to Taste Wine. Conran Octopus/Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-84091-520-4. Robinson, Jancis. Confessions of a Wine Lover. Penguin/Viking. ISBN 978-0-14-023529-6. Robinson, Jancis. Vines and Wines. Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1-85732-999-5. List of wine personalities Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages Jancis Robinson articles in Financial Times Podcast of Jancis Robinson discussing "Writing about wine" at the Shanghai International Literary Festival Live blogging interview with Jancis Robinson Interview with Jancis Robinson
Viticulture or winegrowing is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a branch of the science of horticulture. While the native territory of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, ranges from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea, the vine has demonstrated high levels of adaptability to new environments. For this reason, viticulture can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Duties of the viticulturist include monitoring and controlling pests and diseases, irrigation, canopy management, monitoring fruit development and characteristics, deciding when to harvest, vine pruning during the winter months. Viticulturists are intimately involved with winemakers, because vineyard management and the resulting grape characteristics provide the basis from which winemaking can begin. A great number of varieties are now approved in the European Union as true grapes for winegrowing and viticulture; the earliest evidence of grape vine cultivation and winemaking dates back 7,000 years.
The history of viticulture is related to the history of wine, with evidence that humans cultivated wild grapes to make wine as far back as the Neolithic period. Evidence suggests that some of the earliest domestication of Vitis vinifera occurred in the area of the modern countries Georgia and Armenia; the oldest-known winery was discovered in the "Areni-1" cave in Armenia. Dated to c. 4100 BC, the site contained a wine press, fermentation vats and cups. Archaeologists found V. vinifera seeds and vines. Commenting on the importance of the find, McGovern said, "The fact that winemaking was so well developed in 4000 BC suggests that the technology goes back much earlier." There is evidence of grape domestication in the Near East in the early Bronze Age, around 3200 BC. Evidence of ancient viticulture is provided by cuneiform sources, plant remains, historical geography, archaeological excavations; the remnants of ancient wine jars have been used to determine the culture of wine consumption and cultivated grape species.
In addition to winemaking, grapes have been grown for the production of raisins. The earliest act of cultivation appears to have been the favoring of hermaphroditic members of the Vitis vinifera species over the barren male vines and the female vines, which were dependent on a nearby male for pollination. With the ability to pollinate itself, over time the hermaphroditic vines were able to sire offspring that were hermaphroditic. At the end of the 5th century BC, the Greek historian Thucydides wrote: The period that Thucydides was most referencing was the time between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, when viticulture emerged in force in Asia Minor and the Cyclades Islands of the Aegean Sea. During this period, grape cultivation developed from an aspect of local consumption to an important component of international economies and trade. From 1200 BC to 900 BC, the Phoenicians developed viticulture practices that were used in Carthage. Around 500 BC, the Carthaginian writer Mago recorded such practices in a two-volume work, one of the few artifacts to survive the Roman destruction of Carthage during the Third Punic War.
The Roman statesman Cato the Elder was influenced by these texts, around 160 BC he wrote De Agricultura, which expounded on Roman viticulture and agriculture. Around 65 AD, the Roman writer Columella produced the most detailed work on Roman viticulture in his twelve-volume text De Re Rustica. Columella's work is one of the earliest to detail trellis systems for raising vines off the ground. Columella advocated the use of stakes versus the accepted practice of training vines to grow up along tree trunks; the benefits of using stakes over trees was to minimize the dangers associated with climbing trees, necessary to prune the dense foliage in order to give the vines sunlight, to harvest them. Roman expansion across Western Europe brought Roman viticulture to the areas that would become some of the world's best-known winegrowing regions: the Spanish Rioja, the German Mosel, the French Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône. Roman viticulturists were among the first to identify steep hillsides as one of the better locations to plant vines, because cool air runs downhill and gathers at the bottom of valleys.
While some cool air is beneficial, too much can rob the vine of the heat it needs for photosynthesis, in winter it increases the risk of frost. In the Middle Ages, Catholic monks were the most prominent viticulturists of the time period. Around this time, an early system of Metayage emerged in France with laborers working the vineyards under contractual agreements with the landowners. In most cases, the prendeurs were given flexibility in selecting their crop and developing their own vineyard practice. In northern Europe, the weather and climate posed difficulties for grape cultivation, so certain species were selected that better suited the environment. Most vineyards grew white varieties of grape, which are more resistant to the damp and cold climates. A few species of red grape, such as the Pinot Noir, were introduced. Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry dates back to 1416 and depicts horticulture and viticulture in France; the images illustrate peasants bending down to prune grapes from vines behind castle walls.
Additional illustrations depict grape vines being harvested, with each vine being cut to three spurs around knee height. Many of the viticultural practices developed in this time period would become staples of European viticulture until the 18th century. Varietals were studied more intently to see which vines were the most suitable for a particular area. Around this
Appellation d'origine contrôlée
The appellation d'origine contrôlée is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut national des appellations d'origine, now called Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité. It is based on the concept of terroir; the origins of AOC date to the year 1411. The first French law on viticultural designations of origin dates to August 1, 1905, whereas the first modern law was set on May 6, 1919, when the Law for the Protection of the Place of Origin was passed, specifying the region and commune in which a given product must be manufactured, has been revised on many occasions since then. On July 30, 1935, the Comité National des appellations d'origine, with representatives of the government and the major winegrowers, was created to manage the administration of the process for wines at the initiative of deputy Joseph Capus. In the Rhône wine region Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumarié, a trained lawyer and winegrower from Châteauneuf-du-Pape obtained legal recognition of the "Côtes du Rhône" appellation of origin in 1936.
After World War II the committee became the public-private Institut National des Appellations d'Origine. The AOC seal was mandated by French laws in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. On July 2, 1990, the scope of work of the INAO was extended beyond wines to cover other agricultural products. AOCs vary in size; some cover vast expanses with a variety of climatic and soil characteristics, while others are small and uniform. For example, the Côtes du Rhône AOC "covers some 400 square kilometres, but within its area lies one of the smallest AOCs, Château-Grillet, which occupies less than 4 hectares of land." The INAO guarantees that all AOC products will hold to a rigorous set of defined standards. The organization stresses that AOC products will be produced in a consistent and traditional manner with ingredients from classified producers in designated geographical areas; the products must further be aged at least in the respective designated area. Under French law, it is illegal to manufacture and sell a product under one of the AOC-controlled geographical indications if it does not comply with the criteria of the AOC.
AOC products can be identified by a seal, printed on the label in wines, with cheeses, on the rind. To prevent any possible misrepresentation, no part of an AOC name may be used on a label of a product not qualifying for that AOC; this strict label policy can lead to confusion in cases where towns share names with appellations. If the town of origin of a product contains a controlled appellation in its name, the producer is enjoined from listing anything more than a cryptic postal code. For example, there are a dozen townships in l'Aude that have Cabardès in their names, several of which are not within the geographical boundaries of the Cabardès AOC. Any vineyard that produces wine in one of those towns must not mention the name of the town of origin on the product labels. There are over 300 French wines entitled to the designation AOC on their label. Legislation concerning the way vineyards are identified makes recognizing the various AOCs challenging for wine drinkers not accustomed to the system.
Distinguishing classifications requires knowledge of esoteric label laws such as "Unless the wine is from a Premier Cru vineyard, the vineyard name must be printed in characters no more than half the height of the ones used for the village name"On the other hand, while the process of label approval is enforced to the millimetre, the quality control for the wine in the bottle is much less strict. While a blind taster must approve the wine for it to receive AOC classification, this tasting occurs before the product is bottled, by a local expert who may well have ties to the local vintners. If the taster is objective, the wine sample may not be representative of the actual product, there is no way to verify that the finished bottled product is the same as the original AOC sample. In 1925, Roquefort became the first cheese to be awarded an AOC label, since over 40 cheeses have been assigned AOC status. On August 15, 1957, the National Assembly gave AOC status to the poultry of Bresse. In 2006, it awarded AOC status to salt marsh lamb raised in the Bay of the Somme.
In 1981, the AOC label was given to Haute-Provence Lavender Essential Oil. It refers to a high-quality production and concerns only the essential oil of fine lavender - Lavandula angustifolia; the fields must be located within a specific territory at a minimum altitude of 800 meters. This geographic area covers 284 communities in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Drôme and Vaucluse regions. Lentils from Le Puy-en-Velay have AOC status. Honey from the island of Corsica has been given AOC status. There are six certified varietals of Corsican honey: Printemps, Maquis de printemps, Miellats du maquis, Châtaigneraie, Maquis d'été, Maquis d'automne. France recognizes the Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vendée AOC regions for butter; the Beurre Charentes-Poitou has been assigned AOC status in 1979. Armagnac, Calvados and Martinique Rhum Agricole all have AOC status. Many other countries have based their controlled place name systems on th