Country Wine is wine which is made using varieties of grapes or procedures which are other than those required as per established rules & regulations. Unlike table wines which indicate being made in France, Country Wines can be made in any part of the world but carry geographic designation of origin. Regulations regarding labeling practice of Country Wine are typically far more lenient than regulations laid down for other types of wines.
Production Rules for Country Wine
There are several conditions Country Wine producers are meant to follow. The yield of grapes for Country Wine should be less than 90 hectoliters per hectare for white wine and less than 85 hectoliters for red & rose Country Wines. Wine producers having total yield of less than 100 hectoliters per hectare can alone qualify for Country Wine. Permitted amounts of sulfur dioxide for Country Wine is 150 mg/l for white & rose wine and 125 mg/l for red wine. However, the quantity of sulfur dioxide for Country Wines with sugar content 5 g/l can be slightly higher. Sulfur dioxide levels in such Country Wines can be 175 mg/l for white & rose wine and 150 mg/l for red wine. Acidity levels for Country Wine in terms of pH values are also regulated in certain areas which are stricter than others. Moreover, Country Wine should also be kept and produced separately and are also subject to quality monitoring by a designated official regional committee.
Economic Factors Affecting Country Wine
Initially Country Wine was regarded inferior to other types of wine and referred to as thin & simple wine. With increase in demand for varietal wines during the late 1980s, producers making Country Wine in France turned away from highly restrictive AOC Appellation guidelines laid down for manufacturing wines using specific blends of grape varieties. This was largely in response to increasing success of sales of Country Wines coming from countries like Chile, South Africa, United States, New Zealand & Australia. Country Wine in France is now also involved in producing non-traditional blends of wine which do not confirm with the required rules & regulations. Moreover, some of these Country Wines are also considered much better than other wines coming from the same region.