The French wine classification system was established in 1936 and serves as a model for many other wine-producing countries. There are 4 categories ranging from simple table wine to the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, commonly known as AOC, which covers more than half of the production. Of course a simple AOC on the label does not guarantee quality. As you will see in the individual, alphabetized pages (some starting letters such as C are so popular that we had to do several pages) a few of these AOC wines were promoted, perhaps recently, from a lower designation. But such promotions are fairly rare, and hopefully well deserved.