The Pyramid of Italian Wines
DOP wines – Denomination of protected origin (DOC and DOCG)
The DOP category of wines in Italy includes DOC wines (controlled designation of origin) and DOCG wines (controlled and guaranteed designation of origin). Wines with a designation of origin are produced in a defined geographical area, with very precise chemical and sensory characteristics, which have been established in advance according to specific production criteria, or the Rules of Production (Disciplinari di Produzione).
These specifications determine the types of wine that can be produced, the quantities of grapes that can be obtained for each hectare of vines, the varieties to be used, the conversion efficiency of the grapes into wine, the minimum natural alcoholic percentage and for consumption, the type and duration of eventual aging. The grapes used for the production of DOP wines are 100% produced, processed and prepared within the designated geographical area. In addition, DOP wines are also controlled qualitatively: before being placed on the market, they must be subjected to a complete chemical analyses to ensure their compliance with the requirements.
DOCG wines are subject to stricter production rules and have specifications which are much more restrictive DOC wines. Before being recognized as DOCG, these wines must have been certified DOC for at least five years.
IGP Typical Geographical Indication (or IGT)
IGT wines indicates the name of a region, a specific location, or in exceptional cases, a country, where the wine was produced. This determines the quality,reputation or other characteristics that can be attributed to that specific geographical origin.
At least 85% of the grapes used to produce IGT wines must come exclusively from this geographical area. The delimitation of vinification areas for grapes was introduced for I.G.T. wines, which means that it will no longer be possible to produce an IGT wine with grapes harvested in one area, but vinified in another. IGT wines are also subject to stricter control procedures.
Generic wines which have the possibility of indicating the year and/or the grape variety, are wines with no reference to origin and can be produced with grapes from various geographical areas or several countries. On the label a reference to the year and/or the grape variety used.