Understanding Italian Wine Labels

IGT Indicazione geografica tipica and IGP Indicazione geografica protetta

Indicazione geografica tipica born in 1992 to recognize the high quality of a designed area, and it is equivalent to the French Vin de Pays designation. IGT wines are labelled with the area of winery, but do not meet the requirements of the stricter DOC or DOCG standards, that protect traditional wines such as Amarone, Chianti, Barolo. IGT and Vin de Pays are equivalent to the EU Protected Geographical Indication designation, many producers prefer to label the Italian translation IGP Indicazione geografica protetta rather than IGT.

DOC Denominazione di origine controllata

Denominazione di origine controllata is the equivalent to the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). The wine must satisfy a defined quality protocol and being produced within a specified area. DOC wines meet stringent rules regarding permitted grape varieties, harvest yields, minimum ageing including use of barrels, minimum alcohol content. Wines labelled DOC or DOCG must be sold in bottles of no more than 5 L.

DOCG Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita

Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita is the highest classification in Italy. The rules for the DOCG wine require more stringent quality controls than DOC wines. All DOCG wines are analysed and tasted by a government licensed agency before being bottled. Approved wines have a numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork.

Classico

Classico (classic) is reserved for wines produced in a particular area for years. For example Chianti Classico is the wine produced in Chianti region.

Riserva

Riserva (reserve) is used only for wines that are aged more than 2 years longer than minimum aging for the particular type of wine.