International Standard for the Labelling of Wines

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Appellation of origin or Geographical indication

2.1.2              Appellation of origin or geographical indication


Geographical Indication 

Geographical indication is any denomination protected by the competent authorities of the country of origin, which identifies a wine or spirit beverage as originating in a specific geographical area, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the wine or spirit beverage is essentially attributable to its geographical origin[1].

As far as wine is concerned, the protection of the geographical indication:

  • is subject to at least 85% grapes being harvested in the specific geographical area.

As far as spirit beverages of a vitivinicultural origin are concerned, the protection of the geographical indication:

  • is subordinate to the fact that the decisive phase of production being carried out in the country, region, place or defined area.

Appellation of Origin

Appellation of Origin is any denomination recognised and protected  by the competent authorities in the Country of origin, consisting of or containing the name of a geographical area, or another denomination known as referring to such area, which serves to designate a wine or spirit beverage as originating in that geographical area, where the quality or characteristics of the wine or spirit beverage are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors, and which has given the wine or spirit beverage its reputation[2]

The protection of the appellation of origin is subordinate to the harvest as well as its transformation into wine in the region or defined area.

When a wine benefits from an appellation of origin or from a geographical indication such as defined above, and figures on a list published by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, the use of this  appellation of origin or the  geographical indication on the label, conforming to the laws of the producer country, is obligatory.

In this case the appellation of origin or the geographical indication can constitute the denomination of the product and take the place of the word "wine".

To avoid confusion with other designations it is recommended that the use of a complementary mention characterising the product, such as "Appellation of Origin..." is made compulsory.

[1] Articles 22.1 and 23.1 of the TRIPS Agreement

[2] Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications (2015, article 2.1.i]