The two main classification of wine in France are Vin de Pays and Apellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC).
Vin de Pays identifies the place of origin of the wine together with the grape variety and the year of production. Generally cheaper than the AOC wines, they are not necessarily inferior – they may even be waiting for AOC status.
AOC wines come from specific vineyards, are made with particular varieties of grape and are produced in a certain way. The producers speak of ‘terroir‘ and are very proud of their product. Usually more expensive than the Vin de Pay, some AOCs, eg Château Lafite, can sell for hundreds if not thousands of euros per bottle.