Italian Wine Laws
There was no uniform control over the stages involved in Winemaking to ensure their quality until the Italian government passed a law in the year 1963.
The wine laws govern the district of origin, the grape varieties permitted yield per hectare, methods of production and aging, annual production, and alcoholic strength. In most regions, quality control testing is also necessary.
The Italian wine laws were updated in the year 1992 giving way to one more category. It also permitted wines to be declassified to a lower category if they didn’t satisfy the required standards.
Italian Wine Classification System
Italian wines are classified into the four categories which are mentioned in ascending order of the quality standards:
1. Vino da Tavola (VdT)
It is the simplest table wine with or without an indication of its origin. It is the lowest category of Italian wines.
2. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)
It is similar to the French wine category of Vin de Pays. The wines of this category are made from approved grapes of a specific region. It also guarantees minimum alcohol content and the area of production.
3. Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
Grantees the origin, grape varieties used, methods of production, yield and characteristics, alcoholic content, and aging methods. There are 250 DOC wines.
4. Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
It includes all the guarantee points mentioned for DOC together with quality assurance. These wine go through laboratory analysis and tasting examinations to get the DOCG status. There are very few DOCG wines. These wines have a lower yield per hectare.