The Letters of the Law - AOC, AOP, INAO, ODG, CIBAS, OI, ETC. explained

What do all these letters mean?

I recently wrote about Lilian Bauchet getting controlled.   Those of you who read French, check out Lilian’s whole post as he does a good job of explaining the rather convoluted delineation between the various organizations in the alphabet soup that legislates our vineyards. ODG, INAO, CIBAS, ETC.

For those of you who don’t really read French, here is my explanation:

Basically (hah!), to make AOP wines (AOC is now called AOP, stick with me), you have to belong to an ODG. The ODG has a constitution that states all the rules of your AOP. The ODG sends that constitution to the INAO which is a national organization that will approve your constitution or recommend modifications. Then, there are independent control groups which are tasked with the enforcement and management of certain bureaucratic procedures tied to the ODGs. These control groups vary by region but are always INAO-approved. And working with them is not optional. So essentially they are INAO-mandated, but if they do something wrong, the INAO can just say “oh well you have to complain to them not us”. In Lilian’s story, the control group is the CIBAS, but in my region it’s the OI (I think).

Also, the INAO encourages the ODG to perform regular and random auto-controls where we inspect each other’s vines. Then the control group like the CIBAS just has to control a portion of our controls to verify that we’re doing a good job on our own. This is probably why the dude checking Lilian’s vines out was a grape growing neighbor of his.

And you can’t just lump all the abbreviations and wine laws together.  Because while the majority of these letters belong to a similar group, some function independently or parrallel to the above acronyms.  The CIVL, CIVR, CIVB, etc. are interprofessional groups.  They are supposed to represent all growers.  They are technically separate from the AOPs even though most AOPs are adherents that pay to be represented by the region’s CIV.

Furthermore, the IGP system is a more centralized European classification that doesn’t necessarily have any correlation whatsoever to AOP, VDQS, VDP, or VDT classifications.

And then you have all the regional bodies that aren’t law makers but essentially marketing and events firms like Sud de France, InterRhone(?), Vins de Bordeaux(?), SOPEXA(?), etc.

What do the actual letters stand for?  Good question.. I think the following:

  • INAO- Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (although their own website says it stands for “Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité” but INdlOedlQ was less catchy.)
  • AOC- Appellation d’Origine Controlée
  • AOP- Appellation d’Origine Protegée (exactly like AOCs but with ironically more Controls)
  • ODG- Organisme de Défense et de Gestion
  • OI-  ???? the inao-approved group that Cabrdes ODG uses to enforce our rules
  • CIBAS- ??? the inao-approved group that Bourgogne sometimes uses
  • IGP- Indication Géographique Protégée
  • CIVL- Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc
  • CIVR- Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Roussillon
  • CIVB- Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Bordeaux
  • BIVB- Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne
  • VDQS- Vin de Qualité Superieur
  • VDP- Vin de Pays
  • VDT- Vin de Table, soon to become Vin de France(?)

So there. You don’t need to ask what does AOC stand for anymore.  Now you know.  And you also know that you’re supposed to be asking what AOP stands for.  Keep up with the times!

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
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North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Best by GPS.
    Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.