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These are wine areas judged to be less prestigious than appellations d'origine controlees. They are regulated in the same way, but the zones are drawn along commune boundaries, and thus not as precisely as AOCs.

This category, also under INAO control, is gradually being phased out, with wines promoted to AOC status. At present the VDQS (the full, formal tite is appellation d'origine vins delimites de qualite superieure) make up around 1% of the French total.

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