The designations of origin of wine
A designation of origin is a seal of quality and guarantee that identifies a product from a specific place. Its quality or characteristics are due, fundamentally, to a specific geographical environment. This involves natural (climate, soil, minerals and water) and human factors inherent to it. Production also takes place entirely within the given geographical area.
The D.O. is an international legal certificate that protects the typicity and quality of the wine.
What is the purpose of the D.O.?
Firstly, it provides a guarantee and control of the origin and quality of their products, by the seal of guarantee.
It serves to maintain the characteristics and uniqueness of the product linked to the territory to which it belongs. In this way, the product elaborated and produced in that area will be unique and differentiated from the rest.
It involves a generic promotion of the brand, both inside and outside the country. The aim is to enter new markets and consolidate in the markets in which it is already present.
It also serves to enhance the image of the territories that belong to the D.O. This leads to an increase in investment and tourism in the area, generating income.
On the other hand, it is also a defense of the name and industrial property, protecting the product and preventing fraud.
Finally, it helps to structure the sector by bringing together winemakers and winegrowers, while seeking a balance of interests.
D.O. in Spain
There are currently 70 Designations of Origin in Spain.
In order to produce grapes for the production of D.O. wine, several characteristics must be met. The vineyard must be in the defined geographical area. It must also correspond to the preferred grape varieties authorised by the appellation. In addition, the D.O. also has technical requirements for the registered wineries. Each appellation of origin has its own regulations.
Rioja is the oldest designation of origin in Spain, dating back to 1925. Later, in 1991, it became a qualified designation of origin, a status it shares only with the Catalan D.O. Priorat.
In addition to the conditions that all D.O.’s need to fulfil, qualified designations of origin have higher requirements in terms of regulations. They must also have been a designation of origin for at least 10 years.
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