Appellation often refers to ‘legally controlled appellations’ or wine regions of the Old World such as France, Italy and Spain. Here, which grape variety(ies), trellising systems, and pruning as well as restrictions on yield are tightly controlled by law to uphold the winemaking tradition of the region and to maintain a certain quality level and recognizable style.

In the EU, wines from controlled appellations are labelled with PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin).

Controlled appellations are much stricter than the more general use of GI (Geographical Indications) which are labelled in the EU as PGI (Protected Geograhical Indication).