O.P.A.P. is, very simply, the acronym for “Onomasia Proelefsis Anoteras Poiotitas” that you could translate in English by “Appellation of Origin of Higher Quality”.
Greek wine law is kind of based on the French legislation regarding wines. Legally, it means that the designation O.P.A.P. that you could find on the Label of Greek wines would be an equivalent to the French quality wine category known as VQPRD (in French: ”Vin de Qualité Produit dans une Région Déterminée”).
Greece counts 20 O.P.A.P. Appellations only, because of stricter conditions applied to this designation, meaning that wine with this distinctive designation will most likely be of a higher hand, and will show off more of a "Terroir" taste.
Hmm.. that is interesting. Why do you think that Greece has stricter legal regulations in wine composition? I am not particularly familiar with Greek wines, but I would assume that if its appellations are based off of the French system, there must be a regional basis for its stricter conditions.ReplyDelete
you are right there is regional basis for their stricter conditions, but not only, from what I understand ( I am not an expert on Greek Wine either, I only like to sip them ;-) ), it is as well a will to come clean regarding the past of Greek wines..., some 50-60 years ago, the law was not so restrictive and one could never be so sure what was in the bottle at that time.
Creating a system of Appellation is one steps to make it clearer for the general consumer, adding restrictive laws, and enforcing them (Europa's diverse organisms are really good at checking theses are followed) make the producer wanted to be recognized more (i.e.: that comes with selling the wines at a higher price) and care more for what they do...It does come with restrictive conditions but at the end, the end products is better.
There is only 20 O.P.A.P. because these are the best places for the particular grapes growing there. Greece is known for having something like 3000 indigenous grapes, most of them don't even grown out of the boundaries of Greece, some are so limited in quantity they grow that their use for winemaking has to be protected by law...
In conclusion, considering what I know on that matter, I would say that O.P.A.P is not only a "Terroir" designation, but it is also as well a guaranty of quality of the wine as well as a restriction and a protection of the Greek indigenous grapes, but I could be mistaken, as I said earlier, I am no expert on the matter.
Thanks for reading my post btw,
I just checked your blog and will go read it tomorrow :-)
Thanks so much for the information (and the request on LinkedIn). I appreciate it; it is truly great to learn more about Greek wines (and their laws), as the majority of my research on Old World wines has brought me (namely to) France, Italy, and, on occasion, Spain.ReplyDelete