An appellation of origin system developed by an alliance of wineries, government regulators, and research institutions that identifies wines based on the origin of the grapes from which they are produced. With this system, Canada joins other wine-producing countries in developing a system of regulations and standards for its wines. Like the AOC laws in France, each Canadian region maintains unique rules such as approved grape varieties and sugar level at harvest. Unlike French AOC wines, however, VQA wines are appraised by an independent panel of experts, and only those that meet or exceed the VQA standards are awarded the designation. These wines may display a VQA medal on the bottle.