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AOC Cornas !

CORNAS, a very strictly controlled appellation of origin

AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) in France, AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) in Europe, the appellation is a quality certification based on an extremely strict and thorough list of specifications established by local producers. The AOC protects both an area and a skill. It is never totally fixed, because while complying with the distinctive characteristics of a wine, it must also take into account changes which can be technical, as well as environmental and societal. The specifications list for the AOC CORNAS was ratified by the decree n° 2011-1829 of 7th December 2011, published in the JORF (Official Bulletin of Laws and Decrees) on 8th December 2011.

Download the map of Cornas Vineyards

Essential to know
Excerpt of the specifications

Name of the appellation

The appellation of controlled origin, AOC “Cornas” is used solely for still, red wines.

Grape variety

The wines are exclusively red wines, “Cornas” being the only appellation of controlled origin of all the appellations called the “northern Côtes du Rhône”, where the wine is made using solely the Syrah N variety. The Syrah N, or “Serine” at Ampuis, is also called locally “L’Ermitage plant”. The appellation of controlled origin winegrowing sector “Hermitage” being situated at 12 kilometres to the north of Cornas, the Syrah N is therefore an emblematic grape variety of this area.


  • Wines are made in accordance with local practice.
  • Any warming treatment of the harvest leading to a temperature exceeding 40°C to occur is forbidden.
  • The use of wood chips is forbidden.
  • The wines do not exceed, after enrichment, a total volume of alcohol of 13.5%.


The wines are sold to the consumer in glass bottles only

To read the specifications list in full

The geographical area

The harvest of grapes, winemaking and elaboration of wines are carried out in the area of the small village of Cornas, in the county of Ardèche.


  • The vines present a minimal plantation density of 4 400 vines per hectare.
  • The yield is set at 40 hectolitres per hectares, with a cut-off yield of 46 hectolitres per hectare.
  • The wines are obtained in the limit of a yield of 50 hectolitres per hectare. This yield corresponds to the total production of the plots declared. Any excess of this yield limit leads, for the totality of the harvest, to losing the benefit of the AOC, the appellation of controlled origin.
  • The vines are pruned according to the following techniques :
    - Low-level pruning in Gobelet style or Royat cordon.
    - Single or double Guyot style pruning.
  • The vines are grown supported by wooden stakes or they are trellised.
  • The vineyard plots are cultivated to ensure a good overall condition of the vine, in particular its healthiness and to maintain the qualities of the soil.

To protect the characteristics of the physical and biological environment that constitutes a fundamental element of the terroir :
- in plots suitable for producing appellation of controlled origin wines, the layouts for controlling the flow of water and elements making it possible to guarantee the integrity and durability of the soils (low walls, terraces, infiltration strips…) are maintained according to local customs.
- authorisation is given only to layouts or works which do not make a substantial modification to structuring elements (low walls, terraces, banks, infiltration strips…) of a plot within the delimited area of plots of land.
- plastic straw-mulching of vines is forbidden.
  • Wines are made using hand-picked grapes.
  • Wines have a natural, minimum volume of alcohol of 10.5%.

The label

It can specify the larger geographical structure “Cru des Côtes du Rhône” or “Vignobles de la Vallée du Rhône”.