Wine Sub Regions
Wine Tasting Notes Organized by Sub Region
Within a country’s wine regions there are more delineated regions, sometimes called subregions to differentiate them from the larger, inclusive region. These are more specific areas within a region that, like the region they are in, are based on geography, but often also share similar terrior and climate characteristics. As a result, certain grapes tend to thrive better in certain subregions than others, and as such, vineyards within the subregion will be known for producing specific varietal wines.
Additionally, some subregions are officially recognized by the country’s government as meeting specific criteria for wine making. This practice of authenticating wine regions started in France during the 15th century as a way to distinguish the highest quality wines from the rest. In France, it is called the Appellation Contrôlée status, and only the vineyards within regions that meet the strict winemaking standards can place the AC abbreviation on their label.
For example, the Bordeaux wine region of France is AC recognized, which means all of its subregions are also AC recognized, including Haut-Medoc, Pauillac, Sauternes, Barsac, Graves, Pomerol, and Saint-Émilion.
This system has been copied, although not to the same superior standards, in many other countries. In the United States of America, these officially recognized wine-producing subregions are known as American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs. The most popular AVAs in America include Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley in California, Walla Walla Valley in Oregon and Washington, and the Finger Lakes in New York.
In Italy, the government licensed regions are called Denominazione Di Origine Controllata, or DOC, and the subregions are called Denominazione Di Origine Controllata e Garantita, or DOCG.
In Spain, the regulated wine producing areas are called Denominacion De Origen, or DO, and in Portugal they are called Denominacao De Origem Controlada, or DOC. When you see the above abbreviations on a bottle of wine from that country, you know it has met the government’s high standards for production.
See All Wine Sub Regions