IGT, DOC, DOCG

In common know how, these terms are became of public dominion. It is also probably conviction generalized that the wines DOCs are better than wines IGT, as those DOCGs are better than wines DOC. These last affirmations don't already correspond exactly to the truth. The sigles:

IGT means "Identificazione Geografica Tipica"
DOC means "Denominazione di Origine Controllata"
DOCG means "Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita"

UE regulations

In primis there are the dispositions emanated by the European Union, particularly the rule n. 1493/99 on 17/5/19999 and the rule n.753/02 on 29/3/2002. These regulations depart from the definition of wine (as that product exclusively gotten by the total or partial alcoholic fermentation of press fresh grapes or not, or of musts of grape) and they define a series of norms to control the whole enologic activity: the European surfaces of cultivation and the varieties of grapevines, the rules of market for the commerce and the sale chain, the circulation in UE, the practices and enologic treatments authorized, the denominations for the presentation and the guardianship of the geographical indications, as well as the bottle label. The wines produced in conformity to these disciplines VQPRD (Wines of Quality Produced in Determined Regions) are defined and for every country member they have been established the national naming; particularly in Italy the words DOC and DOCG are been defined. How exception it has been recognized some namings already affirmed and whose identification is notoriously already associabile to a region and to and well precise rules, for es. Champagne, Sherry, Porto; for Italy the namings Franciacorta, Asti and Marsala exist.

Italian laws

In Italy the last law on subject is on 10/2/1992, the 164/92 law, that moves from all previous laws and it frames the whole enologic Italian activity establishing the inventory of the vineyards, the so-called qualitative pyramid of the wine as well as the naming as Reserve, Superior, Classic and Novello. The inventory of the IGT, DOC and DOCG vineyards points out the surfaces for every vineyard and the relative planimetries.



Vini da Tavola

The "vini da tavola" non sono soggetti ad una normativa specifica.Hanno l'obbligo di presentare in etichetta: are not subject to a specific rules. It's mandatory to report on the label:

  • the naming "Vino da tavola"
  • nominal volume of the content (in hl, l, cl or ml)
  • letter "e" regarding the packaging
  • the date of the producer
  • indication on the place of vinificazione if different from that of production of the grapes
  • percentage of alcohol in volume
  • packaging lot
  • the possible homogenization

Some optional indications are allowed, the color, the brand, other data on the producer, etc.

"Identificazione Geografica Tipica" wines

The "Identificazione Geografica Tipica" wines are controled by a disciplinary and they are identified by a zone of production, generally a little bit big. The IGT wines disciplinary must establish:

  • the geografic indication
  • the geografic zone delimitation
  • the list of allowed grapes
  • the enologic typology, included the color
  • the maximum surrender of grapes for hectare
  • the minimum alcoholic title of the grapes
  • the minimum alcoholic title of the wine
  • the allowed practices.

The "Identificazione Geografica Tipica" wines have to report on the bottle label:

  • all the mandatory mentions for the "vini da tavola"
  • the mention "wine of Identificazione Geografica Tipica" and the name of the IGT (zone).

Then some optional indications are allowed, the year of harvest, other data on the producer, precise statements on the type of product (es. wine passito, elevation in barrique, etc.), recognitions, etc.

"Denominazione di Origine Controllata" wines

The DOC wines are controled by a disciplinary and they is identified by a zone of well defined origin, also with indication of sottozona, up to delimited the area to a commune, a fraction, a farm, a farm or a vineyard. It's obvious that more it becomes circumscribed the area of origin and more the indications increase, more the number of the producers is low and minus it's the quantity of wine can be produced; all things that is synonymous of increasing quality of the wine that is produced. DOC wine's disciplanries must establish:

  • the DOC (the name)
  • the zone of production of the grapes
  • the maximum surrender of grapes and wine for hectare
  • the minimum alcoholic title of the grapes
  • physical-chemical characteristics of the wine, the minimum alcoholic title of the wine
  • the conditions of production (climate, terrestrial, altitude, exposure, etc.)
  • the composition of the vineyards, density of the fittings, forms of breeding, systems of pruning
  • formality of the examinations
  • least period of aging in wood e/o refinement in bottle
  • possible bottling in the delimited zones.

DOC wines are submitted to chemical-physical and organolettic examinations during the phase of production; such examinations are performed by special commissions.

The DOC wines have to report on the bottle label:

  • all the mandatory mentions for the IGT wines
  • the mention DOC (or VQPRD, or VLQPRD, or VSQPRD, or VFQPRD), and the name of the DOC (origin zone).

Then some optional indications are allowed, the sottozone, the year of harvest, traditional mentions (like riserva, classico, recioto, est est est, scelto, etc.), other data of producer, precise statements on the type of product (es. wine passito, elevation in barrique, etc.), recognitions, number of quality control, etc.

"Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita" wines

The DOCG wines are controled by a disciplinary and they are countersigned from a zone of well precise origin, also with indication of sottozona, up to tighten the area to a commune, a fraction, a farm, a farm or a vineyard; typically the zone is enough narrow and is that mostly summoned to the production of that wine. A DOCG can be a restriction of the same DOC for es. it can be relative to a small portion ot territory included in the area of the DOC, or that can be alone related to a denomination (for es. Superior). The disciplinary of the DOCG wines cover the same typologies of rules of those DOCs but the values to respect are more severe. The law foresees that the denomination DOCG can be attributed to a wine that from at least 5 years as DOC is already recognized; the DOCG wines are submitted to a double examination, the second in phase of bottling. In label it is obligatory also the indication of the year (except for the wines with bubbles).

Classico

The mention Classico it is reserved to the wines produced in the most ancient region of the DOC or DOCG; it has a proper regulation within the disciplinary one (es. Chianti Classico).

Riserva

The mention Reserva it's attributed to the wines submitted to a longer aging than defined by disciplinary than at least 2 years.

Superiore

The Superiore mention, whereas allowedn, it's attributed to wine to have a alcoholic title grater than the minimum established by the disciplinary, at least 1%.

Novello

The Novello mention is attributed to wines produced in conformity to the Italian legislation of the Novello wines: at least the 30% of the wine must be produced with carbonic maceration, immission in commerce on November 6, etc.

Conclusions

Today in Italy there are 37 DOCGs and over 300 DOCs; approximately the 30% of the production of wine are related to wines DOC and DOCG. In past, before the law n.164 of 1992, it was very usual to have in the same classification wines of great quality and wines of very inferior quality; this has brought some manufacturing ones to abdicate the denomination and to make to be known through names of imagination. The typical example is the Sassicaia, Vino da Tavola up to few years', but there are also other examples, the Fontalloro, the Flaccianello, etc. Today the subject is better controled but it is also true that behind a recognition (or to a missed recognition of a zone) there are delicate commercial equilibriums; for example, the Amarone of the Valpolicella is a great wine but it is not a DOCG. Then there are a lot of wines of great quality that are IGT; it happens when a wine is not inserted in a disciplinary yet or when a great wine is deliberately produced out the existing disciplinary with the purpose to seek new solutions. The Baccarossa, recognized as good Italian red wine, it is an IGT Lazio; it doesn't exist at the moment a disciplinary DOC that foresees that particular zone with the Nerobuono grapes. Finally, the Italian legislation gives a guideline for classifying the wines in base to the quality, but as all the rules introduces its good exceptions; we always returns to the usual based principle on the knowledge of the product / manufacturing or on the trust toward the retailer.