Think Champagne and you are likely to think of bubbly wine produced from some place in France – just like non-bubbly Burgundy or Bordeaux wines. The same goes Kobe beef. And Tequila spirits. They are all products officially designated by their specific origin. Think of Appellation of Origin as a trademark to protect and validate the designated product as authentic. There are also marketing advantages.
Case in point: Would you rather have Champagne or sparkling wine? Let’s face it “sparkling wine” doesn’t carry the same loftiness of Champagne. And because sparkling wine doesn’t come from the Champagne, with the region’s unique characteristics, it’s not (to use a popular 70’s phrase) “the real thing”. Officially, it’s a different thing that also has bubbles.
Wikipedia defines Appellation of Origin this way: A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country). The use of a GI may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.
Want more info as it pertains to Tequila? You can get the history of appellation of origin at Tequileros.