Knowing the equivalents in terms of appellations of origin of wines from different countries can be an easy task if you master some basic concepts. In the following lines we will go through the different appellation of origin terms so we know what are we buying.
France was the pioneer in introducing this concept as a protection of the quality of some of their wines on one hand, and as recognition, on the other. Other countries have followed them establishing their appellations of origin that serve particular geographical, quality, composition or common characteristics shared among a group of wines.
If in France, for example we can find AOC or VDQS, corresponding to a qualified designation of origin and a designation of origin. Both indicate a high quality level. In Spain is used the acronym DOCa and DO to bring together the different wines depending on the region they come from and the age of the vines.
In Italy, a very similar acronym is used: DOCG and DOC, claiming the guaranteed denomination of origin and the designation of origin, respectively.
Germany chooses QmP for quality wine with honour and QbA for quality wines, which would be equivalent to the two that have been mentioned in previous lines.
All these countries also have some lower quality wines, which are classified differently in each place. We are talking about the land wines and table wine. Although the latter does not meet certain quality standards as other wines mentioned here, the land wine does and goes much further indeed.
However, it often happens that some wines cannot be considered quality wines, VDQS, DOGC, DOCa or QbA because they either do not reach the desired level of uniformity in production, or the strains are not old enough, among other reasons.
In France these land wines are known as Vin de Pays, Italy calls them IGT and Germany Landwein. In Spain they are called VdlT and in many cases while you uncork you realize that they have nothing to envy to some DO or DOCa.
In addition to the most important wine producers in Europe of which we have been speaking about, on this continent there are many countries producing their own wine, subjecting it to classification and very similar rating systems.
This is the case of Portugal, with its DOC and IPR, Greece, with its Reserves or Grand Reserve and controlled appellations of origin, England, with Nil and Quality Wines and Austria, which has Vinea Wachau and Qualitätswein Prädikatswein Kabinett.