Wine labels. The meaning of controlled origin

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If you take a bottle of quality Italian wine, it will certainly have a stamp on the cork and reference on the label to the acronyms DOC, DOCG or IGT. What is the difference? These are certifications recognized as “traditional mentions” which, in terms of regulations and protection, are assimilated to PDO (DOC and DOCG) and PGI (IGT). In detail:

DOC: Denominazione di Origine Controllata, established in 1963, is the oldest such recognition introduced in Italy. The first DOC was Vernaccia di San Gimignano, in 1966. The DOC mark has proved to be fundamental in the history of national wine, and the acronym has become commonly used in Italian to denote things of value and worth.

DOCG: Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita is reserved for wines that have already been DOC for at least 5 years and are deemed to be of particular prestige. It expresses a closer identification of the product with the territory. The first wine to bear the DOCG label was Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, in 1980.

IGT: Typical Geographical Indication imposes less strict specification rules than the other two designations. IGT is usually used for types of wine whose production area is extensive.