One Thing California Can Learn From France
I know that I have been a little tough on French wine lately, but there are things I admire about their industry. Despite all of its bureaucratic inefficiencies and generally anti-competitive behavior, the AOC still has merit. I certainly do not think that everything they are doing is bad; far from it. Of course the AOC could be improved, but California could definitely learn from France’s regulation of their best Appellations.
> AOC laws for specific regions have hurt French innovation, but they also ensure at least some level of quality.
This is especially true in smaller, more specific Appellations like Pauillac, Cote Rotie, etc. California, on the other hand, does not limit yields and has no regulations on grape growing and winemaking practices in specific AVAs.
Negociants are increasingly buying the excess grapes and wine from vineyards in California’s elite AVAs that did not make the cut for the original grower or winery’s production. They buy these inferior grapes and wine at discount prices and then slap a premium AVA on the label. This clearly dilutes California’s notion of “place,” and I think that it is a real danger to the AVA system.