Understanding the Italian Wines Classification System

April, 2014 by Alma Abell

Everyone knows that Italian Wines are some of the best wines in the world, but do you understand the strict classification process for these wines? There is a reason the country has such revered wineries because the country prides itself on quality. Here’s a look at the classification of wines from Italy.

Generic Wines

Generic wines from Italy are those made with grapes that the entire world is allowed to grow. You’ve heard of many of these types of wines because they are made all over the world, including Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernat. Higher quality generic wines will use only the high quality grapes and not mix lower quality grapes to make a cheaper wine.

IGT Wines

IGT wines come from grapes grown only in Italy and in specific regions of the country. They do not have a very strict testing policy before being bottles. These wines are simply wines made only in Italy and are special for that reason. One example is Toscana wine grown only in the region of Toscano is Tuscany. Wine made anywhere else but claiming to be Toscana wine is a fake.

DOC Wines

Wines that have been IGT wines for at least five years can become DOC wines, but they have to follow stricter rules. Not only must they fulfill the rules of IGT wines, but they must pass rigorous quality tests to make sure the wine tastes the finest and is made the best way possible. The most popular example is Marsala wine. It is made in the province of Trapani in Sicily. It is most famous for it’s use in cooking to make a marsala sauce.

DOCG Wines

DOCG wines are the best of the best when it comes to Italian Wines. The requirement for DOCG classification is very strict. A DOC wine can only become a DOCG wine after at least 10 years. It must pass many quality tests. A DOCG wine can’t be bottled until an official government taste testers approves it. The bottle wine is then labeled with a government label as proof that it hasn’t been tampered with after testing. The most famous DOCG wine is Chianti.

If you’d like to try out these high quality wines from Italy, then visit Towne Cellars Wines and Liquors, Inc. and check out the selection.


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