The use of Italian Denomination


When you buy an italian bottle probably you face acronyms such as DOP, IGP, DOC, DOCG, IGT. Do you know what they stand for? This post is a short brief about the italian law and how protects wines coming from peculiar areas known for its production.

The European Union issued an amendment where starting from 2008 all the wines coming from region known for their producing skills were flagged as DOP and IGP.

IGP (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) means Typical Geographic Provenience while DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) stand for Denomination of Protected Origin.

Both of them legislate about the points listed below:

  1. Name of Denomination
  2. Borders of the area
  3. Physic and Chemical parameters (i.e. % vol.)
  4. Grapes Implant quantity and ratio grape/bottles
  5. what kind of grapes are allowed to use and in which percentage
  6. kind of producing system
  7. Climatic conditions, terroir, clima.
  8. Historic origins.

The IGP forces the producers to use at least the 85% of grapes growing in the designed area while the DOP is more restrictive being possible to use only grapes coming from the denomination itself.

Italy includes in the IGP its own wine marked as IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) and in the DOP wine marked as DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita).

An IGT wine can be up-graded to DOC after 5 years and a DOC can be transformed in DOCG after 10.

But are the Denomination guarantee of quality?
Unfortunately not always. Italian regulator to ensure the local production had been issuing tents of DOC in the last few years.
The denomination from down to top are IGT, DOC and DOCG. Most of you probably would think that there are few DOCG, an average amount of DOC and the majority of IGT. Well, it doesn’t work like that.

Updating on January 2015 you can find 74 DOCG, 336 DOC and IGT with the same area as politic regions.  Most of the time is denominations are used to supply economic policies to rise up economy in local areas and this is creating a “devaluation” on denomination purpose.


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