Wine Word of the Week: INAO

By Kori ~ May 1st, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is INAO.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
INAO, the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, is the organization in charge of administering, regulating, granting, and protecting the French appellations controlees, not just for about 470 different wines and spirits, but for more than 40 different cheeses and a range of other foods including meat, poultry, and olive oil. As such, and since Vin de Table production is fast declining, it controls an increasing proportion of all French wine, more than 50 percent of volume and nearly 60 percent of all vineyards in the mid 2000s. Nearly 75,000 vine-growers therefore depend on its rules, its undoubted restrictions, its protection, and its efforts to continue France’s reliance on geographically based wine names. The organization is based in Paris but run by regional committees and administrative centres.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
INAO, or Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, is the governing body in charge of the appellation controlees (AOC) in France. AOC’s in France are like AVA’s in the United States.

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