ome bottles of Italian wine bear a label around their neck, the ‘fascetta’, on which is printed the acronym ‘DOC’, or alternatively ‘DOCG’. This label is meant to certify that, after many tests and controls, the State guarantees the origin and the quality of the product.
IGT, DOC and DOCG.
GT, DOC and DOCG are quality assurance labels, assigned by the Italian Government to some of the wines produced in the country.
I.G.T. – ‘Indicazione Geografica Tipica’ (Typical Geographical Indication);
D.O.C. – ‘Denominazione di Origine Controllata’ (Controlled Designation of Origin);
D.O.C.G. – ‘Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita’ (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin);
They have great importance because they certify these products and protect them from many kinds of dangers, such as the risks of imitation and sophistication.
To get (and keep) one these labels, a wine has to meet the requirements of specific production code.
IGT, DOC and DOCG differ from each other for the complexity of the regulations set by their respective production codes.
The simplest requirements are met by IGT wines, the most strict and detailed by DOCG.
The reliability of these labels is ensured by severe tests and controls during time.
The wine production code.
s already mentioned in the previous paragraph, an Italian wine aspiring to get (and keep) a quality assurance label, has to meet all the requirements set by specific production code.
Here follows, for example, some of these requirements:
Type of grapes, type of cultivation, number of plants, etc.
Area of production of the grapes;
Type of vinification;
Characteristics of the product (color, alcohol content, acidity, etc.);
Minimum aging period (if needed);
Higher is the importance of the label, more complex and detailed are the parameters to meet.
The updated list of Italian DOCG wines (2020).
he Italian DOCG wines are at the moment 77 (Upd. 2020), a number expected to grow in the next few years.
Here follows a complete list of them, divided by region of origin:
North of Italy plays a fundamental role in the production of DOCG wines. Thirty-one of them are produced in just two regions, Piedmont and Veneto: this gives a good idea about the variety and the quality of the grapes from these zones.
Asti e Moscato d’Asti;
Cortese di Gavi;
Erbaluce di Caluso;
Barbera del Monferrato sup.;
Dolcetto di Dogliani sup.;
Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba;
Dolcetto di Ovada sup.;
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato;
Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio;
Prosecco dei Colli Asolani;
Prosecco di Conegliano / Valdobbiadene;
Recioto di Gambellara;
Recioto di Soave;
Amarone della Valpolicella;
Friularo di Bagnoli;
Colli di Conegliano;
Recioto della Valpolicella;
Oltrepò Pavese metodo classico;
Scanzo o Moscato di Scanzo;
Sforzato di Valtellina;
Central Italy is famous worldwide for the quality of its wines. Two of them, in particular, have a very high reputation: ‘Chianti Classico’ and ‘Brunello di Montalcino’, both from Tuscany.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano;
Aleatico Passito dell’Elba;
Brunello di Montalcino;
Morellino di Scansano;
Val di Cornia Rosso;
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano;
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi riserva;
Verdicchio di Matelica riserva;
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona;
The taste and the smell of the wines from the south of Italy are greatly improved by the sun kissing its regions.
Castel del Monte
Castel del Monte
Nero di Troia riserva;
Castel del Monte
Primitivo di Manduria dolce naturale;
DOP and IGP wines.
n May 2019, the Italian Legislative Decree n.61 has transposed the EU directive concerning designations of origin.
This means that in Europe:
DOC and DOCG wines are now considered as DOP (Protected Designation of Origin);
IGT wines are now considered as IGP (Protected Geographical Indication);
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The first DOCG wine.
he first wines to receive the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) label, were two great Tuscan products (D.P.R. 01/07/1980):
Brunello di Montalcino.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Both of them were DOC since 1966.
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The first DOC wine.
he first DOC labels (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) were assigned in 1966 to four wines:
Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone.
Many claim that since the assignment to Vernaccia di San Gimignano was officialized before the others (Official Gazette of 06.05.1966, n. 110), this wine should be considered the first Italian DOC.
Some other people argue that, in truth, the very first was Marsala. Even if this may seem quite odd, from a certain point of view it could be true. It’s important to remember that, since the beginning of its commercialization, this famous Sicilian wine was the victim of many attempts of imitation: that’s why in 1931, a Ministerial Decree specified its characteristics, designating specifically its zone of production. This decree can be considered an early form of the modern DOC designation.
Generic, varietal and vintage wines.
he IGP, DOC and DOCG labels certify the place of origin of Italian wines. In this country many other wines don’t have a specific designation: they’re the ‘generic wines’, once known as ‘table wines’ (‘vini da tavola’).
There are two types of them:
Varietal wines (‘vini varietali’): wines made primarily with a single grape variety (85%).
Vintage wines (‘vini d’annata’): wines made primarily with grapes from the same year (85%).
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img-03 – Marsala, windmill near the salt flats;
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