Appellation d'origine contrôlée
Appellation d'origine controlée (AOC, "controlled designation of origin") is a French phrase which shows that a product comes from a certain area.
Some products must come from a certain area and be made in a certain way in order to have the name of the product. The most famous example is champagne, which must be fermented in the bottle and be made in the Champagne region of France.
The French government set up the Institut national des appellations d'origine et de la qualité (INAO, "National institute of controlled designation of origin") in 1935 to oversee the system. Although usually linked with wines, the start of the system of protecting the name of goods started in the 15th century when the French parliament defined what could be called Roquefort cheese.
AOCs are most often found in connection with:
- Wine regions (like Bordeaux Entre-Deux-Mers AOC)
- Some ciders
- Some cheeses (like Roquefort) and Parmesan (in Italy)