Italian DOCG wines, or Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, come from specific geographical regions made with specific grapes, and viticultural and winemaking practices with a tasting panel.
Here’s a quick guide to DOCG wine meaning.
What’s Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita– DOCG
The Italian DOCG wine classification is the highest classification for wine in Italy.
DOCG Italian wines are the best.
The classification means that a governing body oversees and controls production methods in the vineyard and in the winery (controllata) and guarantees the wine’s quality (garantita), through a tasting panel.
The DOCG rules for wines put strict production requirements on grapes destined for DOCG Italian wines.
The rules stipulate that certain grape varieties go into the wine, the total yields permitted are lower (lower yields increase wine quality), and the minimum ripeness for grapes is higher (which means higher alcohol and richer flavors).
DOCG rules may include stipulations for aging the wine in barrel or bottle before the wine’s released for sale.
All of these regulations will add to a wine’s production cost, so expect to pay a little more for a DOCG Italian wine.
DOCG Italian wines can be white, red, or even sparkling wines depending on the region’s winemaking regulations.
Each DOCG Italian wine goes through an official tasting panel.
You’ll see DOCG wine bottles sealed with a small piece of white paper that has the official government seal.
What Italian DOCG Wines to Try
Some amazing Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines include:
- Soave Classico (Veneto) – White Garganega Wine
- Roero Arneis (Piedmont) – White Arneis Wine
- Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) – Red Sangiovese Wine $$
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Tuscany) – Red Sangiovese Wine
- Chianti (Tuscany) – Red Sangiovese Wine
- Barolo (Piedmont) – Red Nebbiolo Wine $$
- Barbaresco (Piedmont) – Red Nabiolo Wine
- Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore (Veneto) – White sparkling wine
Italy Wine Classifications: At-a-Glance
The three main classifications for Italian wine you should know are:
- Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
- Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
- Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)
Italy established a quality ranking system for its wines back in the 1960s as a way to help consumers identify what was in their bottles. Italian wine producers label their wines by region, not necessarily grape variety.
Visit the full explanation of the Italian wine classification here.
Final Thoughts – DOC Wine Meaning
When shopping for Italian wine, a label with DOC means that the winemaker had to follow certain quality controls. Italian DOC wines, the second highest quality tier, are affordable everyday drinkers.
Thirsty for More?
What’s better? DOC or DOCG Italian wines?
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