The origins of AOC date back to the 15th century, when Roquefort was regulated by a parliamentary decree. The first French law on viticultural designations of origin dates from August 1, 1905, whereas the first modern law was set on May 6, 1919, when the Law for the Protection of the Place of Origin was passed, specifying the region and commune that a given product must be manufactured in, and has been revised on many occasions since then. On July 30, 1935, the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO), a branch of the French Ministry of Agriculture, was created to manage the administration of the process for wines. In the Rhône wine region Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumarié, a trained lawyer and winegrower from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, successfully obtained legal recognition of the "Côtes du Rhône" appellation of origin in 1937. The AOC seal was created and mandated by French laws in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. On July 2, 1990, the scope of work of the INAO was extended beyond wines to cover other agricultural products.
AOCs vary dramatically in size. Some cover vast expanses with a variety of climatic and soil characteristics, while others are small and highly uniform. For example, the Côtes du Rhône AOC "covers some 400 square kilometres (150 sq mi), but within its area lies one of the smallest AOCs, Château-Grillet, which occupies less than 4 hectares (9.9 acres) of land."
Read more about this topic: Appellation D'origine Contrôlée
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