What Does Villages Mean on Wine Labels

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on September 1, 2009

Q. What does “Villages” mean on a label-lesser quality wine?
A. Villages is a name occasionally used in the French system of wine laws called the Appellation d’Origine ContrÙlÈe, or AOC. Not every French wine is an AOC wine, but for those that are, the system lets consumers know which area the wine comes from and the quality standards used in producing it.

Some AOC wine regions, such as Beaujolais, also include a number of smaller areas, called villages. A villages wine is made with grapes from one or more of these smaller areas, to higher standards than the broader regional wine. So in theory, Beaujolais-Villages should be a higher quality wine than Beaujolais-although there are always exceptions. Additional popular villages wines include those from CÙtes du RhÙne, M‚con, CÙtes du Roussillon and CÙte de Nuits.

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