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Wine estates and designations of origin (France)

Domaines viticoles

Last modified: 2024-04-20 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: wine | bordeaux |
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Presentation of Wine estates and designations of origin

Two concepts central to the French wines are the notion of terroir, which links the style of the wines to the locations where the grapes are grown and the wine is made, and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Appellation rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's geographically defined appellations, which can cover regions, villages or vineyards.

The main French vineyards are Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Champagne, Corse, Jura, Languedoc, Loire Valley, Provence, Rhône valley, Savoie, Sud-Ouest

Olivier Touzeau, 25 March 2024

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 and using recognized and traditional know-how. The French AOC is an official French label meeting the criteria of the European protected designation of origin, Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP). In France, since 2012, for products other than wine, the term AOC has been replaced by AOP as soon as the product is registered at European level.

Olivier Touzeau, 19 April 2024

Flags of Designations of origin : Bordeaux wine region

Côtes de Bourg

[Flag of CCI]     [Flag of CCI]     [Flag of CCI]

Flag of Côtes de Bourg AOC: left and center, former, right, current flag - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 6 May 2022

Côtes de Bourg is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC, controlled designation of origin) for Bordeaux wine around the town of Bourg-sur-Gironde. The first vineyards in the area were founded by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, Bourg was a major port for wine and the vineyards developed at the same tempo as the estuary traffic.

Red Côtes de Bourg wines are predominantly based on the Merlot grape, blended with smaller quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Some Chateaux still use Malbec as part of the blend. A small amount of white wine is made from Semillon, Sauvignon blanc, Muscadelle, Merlot blanc, Ugni blanc and Colombard grapes. There are around 200 Chateaux producers in the appellation.

  • A white vertical flag, 3:2, white with the former AOC logo, could be observed in Tauriac in 2011 (photo) and on the seat of the syndicate of Côtes de Bourg AOC winemakers, in Bourg-sur-Gironde (photo).
  • A second flag, brown with the logo and the signature "the spicy side of Bordeaux", could be observed in 2018 (photo).
  • The current flag, white with the new logo, including below the logo of the wines of Bordeaux, can now be observed since 2019 (photo).

The main emblem of the logo of the Côtes-de-Bourg wine appellation is also included in the current logo of “Bourg-Cubzaguais tourism”.

Olivier Touzeau, 25 March 2024

Flags of Wine estates : Bordeaux wine region

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

[Flag of CCI]

Flag of Château Smith Haut Lafitte - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 25 March 2024

Château Smith Haut Lafitte is a Bordeaux wine from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, ranked among the Crus Classés for red wine in the Classification of Graves wine of 1953 and 1959. The winery and vineyards are located south of the city of Bordeaux, in the commune of Martillac. The estate originates in the 14th century with the house of Verrier Du Boscq, who planted vines on a gravelly plateau named Lafitte already in 1365. In 1720, it was bought by the Scotsman Georges Smith, who added his name to the lieu-dit (English: place-name) and who built the manor house of the property.

The flag of the estate is yellow with its coat of arms (Azure, three fleur-de-lis Or surmounted by a crescent Argent under a lambel of the same): photo, photo.

Olivier Touzeau, 25 March 2024