Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure
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Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure ("Delimited Wine of Superior Quality"), usually abbreviated as VDQS, is the second highest category of French wine, below Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in rank, but above Vin de pays (country wine). VDQS is sometimes written as AOVDQS, with AO standing for Appellation d'Origine. VDQS wines are subject to restrictions on yield and vine variety, among others.
There are relatively few VDQS, as they typically move onto AOC status after a number of years, so VDQS represents a small part of the total French wine production. In 2005, VDQS wines made up 0.9% of the total wine production, which meant 409,472 hectoliter. 42.3% of the VDQS wines produced in that year were white, with 57.7% being either red or rosé.
By 2011, the VDQS category will be eliminated altogether.
The VDQS category was created in 1949 to fill the gap between Vin de pays (VdP) and the AOC category, which is meant to be the most prestigious category with demanding requirements. Typically VDQS is a stepping stone to full AOC status, and unlike VdP covers local rather than regional areas.
The frequency with which new VDQS are created have varied over the years; between 1984 and 1994 not a single new VDQS was added.
As a result of the on-going crisis in the French wine industry, Bernard Pomel was tasked with making proposals on how to remedy the situation. The so-called Pomel report, which was presented to the French minister of agriculture on March 23, 2006 among other things proposed a simplification of the French wine classification. This included eliminating the VDQS category. After political deliberations that somewhat delayed the initial timelines for the reform, the French parliament made the proposal into law in December 2007. The final wines that can be labelled VDQS will be those of the 2010 vintage, and by December 31, 2011, VDQS will be removed from the classification system. Existing VDQS areas will have until then to either qualify for full AOC status, or to become Vin de pays. Almost all VDQS areas have opted to try for AOC status. They initiated the relevant procedures in 2008-2009.
- Wines of France: Understand French wine categories, accessed on May 13, 2008
- Jancis Robinson, ed. (2006). "VDQS". Oxford Companion to Wine (Third Edition ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 728. ISBN 0-19-860990-6.
- INAO statistics of vineyard surfaces and production volumes for the 2005-2006 campaign, accessed on May 26, 2008
- BK Wine January 29, 2008: VDQS to disappear
- Jancis Robinson, ed. (2006). "Algeria". Oxford Companion to Wine (Third Edition ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 0-19-860990-6.
- Wine Business Insider April 4, 2006, p. 6-7: "French Wine Crisis: the Pomel Report"
- Truewines News Service: End of VDQS delayed