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France
France is a critical contributor in the history of viticulture. Wine has been a part of their culture for many centuries; it is their passion and sole. The ‘Terroir’ says it all; a marriage of the earth with the climate, grape and the desire of the winemaker. It is also the birthplace of many of the major grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Chenin Blanc. Its government controlled classification and appellation structure (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), set an example for similar structures in other European countries and many New World countries. Appellation Classifications Administered by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO), France’s classification system was established in 1935 to fight trade frauds and to differentiate wine quality. The INAO today, continues to be the ruling body in France for the rules that govern the appellations.
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