Useful Information and Glossary

Serious connoisseurs are capable of discerning multiple flavors in a wine, and they possess a highly specialized vocabulary to describe it. In addition to the terms used to describe flavor, wines are subject to various classification schemes whose names can easily overwhelm the uninitiated.

The glossary below explains several key terms and concepts. We hope this information is useful to you in determining your choice of wine.

Term  Definition
AOC Appellation d'origine contrôlée; the French certification granted to certain geographical indications for wines. Also applies to cheeses, butters and other agricultural products.
Grand cru A regional French wine designation for a vineyard known for its favorable reputation. It is the highest level of classification of AOC wines from Burgundy or Alsace.
DO The Spanish certification scheme for wines and other agricultural products. Similar to the French AOC.
DOCG An Italian quality-assurance label modeled after the French AOC. Indicates a controlled designation of origin is guaranteed.
AVA An American Viticultural Area. Designates a geographical wine-grape-growing region in the United States.