Until the first decade of the 21st century, wines with a denomination of origin (DO) in France had achieved exponential growth, but the sustainability of this mechanism for designating quality has been elusive in subsequent decades. This chapter provides a cautionary tale about the consequences of mainstreaming geographical indications (GIs). It first deals with origins of DO wine as a market norm against economic liberalism and state intervention. Born as a reaction to structural changes, which hastened liberalism and threatened the incomes and reputation of famous wine producers, DO granted the market with stability and helped French wine gain traction internationally. The expansion of French DO production coincided with the incorporation of the French conception of DO in the nascent European Economic Community (EEC), which initially emerged as a favorable ground for policy expansion and demand for French wine. However, a change in trend under the later European Union led to the subordination of the GI concept in a context of explosive growth in the number of GI products in Europe. French wine has not been immune to this trend despite the legislative legacy of GI in France. This chapter thus questions common assumptions about GIs, particularly their contradictory tendency for growth despite differentiation; their capacity to simultaneously provide exclusiveness and unrestricted economic emancipation; and their awkward anchoring of local and professional knowledge in politicized national and multilateral institutions.