Understanding the Italian Wine Certification
You will understand Italian wines.
This post is for those who want to know more about Italian Wine Certification, DOCG, DOC, IGT.
It’ s all about understanding the classification and appreciating the Italian Wines by their own production regions.
Some of you might find it difficult.
Compared to other countries the Italian Wine Certification is way easier and more understanding than you think.
I will try to make it easy for you to understand Italian Wine Certification and their origins of production.
For everybody from beginners to expert understanding the Italian wine Certification is fundamental to appreciate Italian wines.
In the title you already have 3 levels out of 4, DOCG – DOC – IGT.
On the list above is missing only the “Vino da Tavola”, that is the lowest and very rare to find, very very cheap.
Basically it means “table wine”. You might think of house wine served in restaurants, but most of them are already IGT.
In conclusion, here’s the link to the entire Italian DOCG DOC and IGT wines (last update 2020):
Here’s the link to download the english version 2020:
Differences between Italian wine Certification and other European countries.
After you take a look at the map I have attached, it should already be easier for you.
In Italy we don’t have different classifications from region to region like in France. Where Bordeaux wines are classified as First growths Premiere crus, etc Grand Cru Classes en 1855 | Official website Bordeaux.com
Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855
In addiction, for example Burgundy wines are classified in different way as:
Burgundy wine classification system | The Official Beaune Travel Guide
Burgundy Wine Classifications – Berry Bros. & Rudd
And Vallee du Rhone in an other way:
Guide to Cotes du Rhone Wine and Châteauneuf-du-Pape
In Italy, we have only 1 classification, identical everywhere.
In Italy DOCG DOC IGT and that’s it, everywhere in the country.
Wines with indication of ORIGIN
D.O.C.G. wines with Designation of Origin Controlled and Guaranteed.
D.O.C. wines with Designation of Origin Controlled.
I.G.T. wines with Indication Geographical Typical.
Wines without indication of Origin
Vino da Tavola= table wine
Italian wine classification DOCG DOC IGT
The scheme is the same in every region of Italy.
Here is the total of Italian wines certified as DOCG, DOC, IGT.
There’s only 1 region without IGT wines, Piedmont (Piemonte).
Here you can see, how simple it can be understanding where Italian wines are produced linked with their areas.
I have attached the map of Veneto. One of the most known wine regions of Italy.
You can see with your eyes how big it’s the area with number 33 in light green. It’ s the Prosecco DOC production area.
On the side of that, smaller than DOC Prosecco areas, you have the DOCG Prosecco areas (check the numbers 2 – 7 – 5).
Here is where historically Prosecco has started.
I can introduce you to the main characteristics of DOCG and DOC wines.
Firstly, before explain you both categories you have to understand this:
“The expressions “Controlled Designation of Origin” (D.O.C.) or “Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin” (D.O.C.G.) indicate those excellent wines which have been produced in compliance with strict regulations that guarantee top quality”
“They are produced in a bordered land area with precise chemical and organoleptic features, that are determined in the manufacturing rules beforehand.
These rules specify the types of wine that can be produced (such as Rosso Riserva, or Vendemmia Tardiva), the quantities of grapes that can be obtained per hectare of vineyards, the varieties that can be used, the yield of transformation from grapes into wine, the minimum natural alcoholic strength and consumption, and the type and duration of the aging process.
Practically the entire production cycle (from the vineyard to the bottle) must respect the production rules.
Unlike the previous categories D.O.C. wines are also controlled qualitatively.
Before being put on the market they must undergo chemical-physical and orga-noleptic analyses in order to ensure their compliance with the parameters that are set in the product description”.
“The naming D.O.C.G. is reserved for wines of great value.
Wines have High intrinsic qualities, that are also defined by natural, human, and historical factors.
They have gained commercial value and acclaim both nationally and internationally.
These wines are subjected to stricter production guidelines and have more re-strictive production regulations than D.O.C. wines.
Before being recognized as D.O.C.G. these wines should have been among D.O.C. wines for at least five years”.
Like for Prosecco, that difference between DOC area and DOCG areas stay in NATURAL, HUMAN and HISTORICAL factors.
In other words, in the DOCG areas it’s where the wine was created at first (Historically and human). Where also you have the best natural conditions(soil, exposure, altitude, rain, climate, wind, etc).
Different for the IGT.
“The main features of an I.G.T wine are the geographical area from which it originated (for example Latium or Veneto), the base grape variety (for example Chardonnay) and the vintage year.
At least 85% of these wines are named after the geographical area they derived from”.
To help you understand how many rules a producer has to follow to produce any DOC or DOCG wines, I linked an i.e. of a DISCIPLINARE of production.
I attach the CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG disciplinare of production.
One of the most iconic wines of Italy.
Disciplinare di produzione – Chianti Classico
Producers have to respect rules like: Yield per hectare, Yield per plant, Min. amount of plants per hectare, certain altitude, min. Vol. alcohol etc etc
Now, wherever you will open a bottle of Chianti Classico DOCG, you know how much work there’s behind to give you the best quality and the most representative product of this specific territory.
Discover Chianti Classico wine territory.
Firstly, to discover this territory I recommend this incredible adventure through vineyards and olive groves where you will understand the historical and human quality behind this wine, Chianti Classico.
The Great Chianti Classico Crossing ©
A great Hiking, Trekking tour, experience in Tuscany.
Discovering secrets and beauty of Chianti Classico wine region, tasting great delicacies and great wines with beautiful drives.
An article I wrote couple of months ago will explain you the other unique grape varieties of Tuscany:
To know more about Chianti Classico:
Il Chianti Classico – vini, suoli e viticoltori
Check out for youtube translations.
You might find interesting:
Seminario sul Chianti Classico #1 | Storia e legislazione
In conclusion, recognising Italian wines by their region, let you have access to all their secrets.
You have to visit their territories to understand why wines from that specific region have those specific organoleptic characteristics and why they are famous for.