Short for appellation d'origine contrôlée - which means "controlled designation of origin" in French. An AOC is a legislative system that indicates where the grapes were grown, which varietals are in the bottle, quality and (generally) the style of a wine. For example, Burgundy's regional AOC Bourgogne Blanc denotes that the wine came from one of the 300+ parishes in the region and that it will be a dry white wine made from Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris. Each AOC determines their own rules that will qualify a wine to be stamped with their approval.