Italian classification system simplified

DOCG, DOC, IGT.. ever noticed these letters before on a bottle of Italian wine? These letters represent a level within the italian classification system. Today i simplify the meaning behind the desigination. Understanding a wine classification system will make your trip to the wine store less confusing.

Before we get serious, here are a few fun facts

-Italy produces almost 5 billion liters of wine annually

-In 800BC Greek settlers introduced the vine Italy

-It has over 2000 grape varieties planted

-Quite often wines take the name of the areas or town where the grapes are grown

-The average Italian consumes 26 gallons of wine a year

-Italy exports 30% of their production to the U.S., over 1 billion bottles, therefore, one in three bottles consumed by Americans is Italian wine

Here is a map of Italy and it's islands Sicily and Sardinia.

Italian wine classification system

In descending order

DOCG - Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita

DOC - Denominazione di Origine Controllata

IGT - Indicazione Geografica Tipica

DOCG - Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita

Is the highest classification for Italian wines, the wine will come from a particular place (origine) where the winemaking and viticulture methods are controlled (controllata) and a certain quality is guaranteed (Garantita)

What is controlled?

-grape varieties

-yield limits

-grape ripeness

-winemaking procedures

-barrel/bottle maturation