The legislative framework protecting terroirs is relatively limited. Nevertheless, in France, the AOC Defence Syndicates (Law of July 2, 1990) have the possibility of taking matters to the competent administrative authority, if they believe projects may harm the area and the conditions of production, the quality or the image of the product from the appellation. This procedure may concern the content of a development document, or urban development document being drawn up, projects of equipment installation, ground or underground exploitation, or the installation of economic activities. It is an interesting protection tool, on condition it can be backed by a dynamic of protection previously initiated by the viticulture players and relayed by the territorial authorities.
As a complement to the protection of terroirs, more general laws (architectural heritage, ecological zones, local urban development plans) can be applied on condition that there is strong local landscape sensitivity.
Obviously, this is not about systematically favouring the protection of “relic” landscapes, although it is sometimes interesting to conserve some remarkable vestiges of a rich wine-growing past.
A living landscape conserves an active social and productive role, with a conscious and reasoned process of evolution adapted to the requirements of its time.