DOCG, DOC, IGT, and VdT: Explaining Italian Wine Classifications

DOCG etc BPP image 1

You may know that Barone Pizzini and Pievalta wines are classified as DOCG and DOC, but you may not know what those classifications mean. DOCG and DOC say a lot about Barone Pizzini and Pievalta wines; they explain the means with which they are produced and emphasize their high quality.

Dall’Uva, an importer and Italian online wine shop dedicated to spreading the word about Italian wine, culture, and travel, has produced a useful guide. Sommelier Michael Horne explains the meanings of the Italian wine classifications DOCG, DOC, IGT, and VdT in the first episode of Tasting Notes. Not a podcast person? Luckily, a transcription of the podcast is available on the Dall’Uva website.

To better understand what it means to enjoy Barone Pizzini and Pievalta, here’s a little taste of what Michael Horne says about DOCG, DOC, IGT, and VdT:

DOCG:
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita — The highest wine classification in Italy where the “G” stands for Garantita — a wine that is guaranteed to follow stringent wine making rules (the full name is Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). It’s here where you will find some of Italy’s top wines — and sometimes at top prices. Compared to DOC wines, most DOCG rules reduce the allowable yield of grapes to produce the wine, require longer aging periods, and most importantly, a DOCG wine has to pass an analysis and a tasting by government-licensed personnel before being bottled.
Examples:
Barone Pizzini Animante Franciacorta DOCG
Pievalta San Paolo Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva DOCG Classico

DOC:
Denominazione di Origine Controllata — Most folks in the industry just call it DOC. The key word here is Controllata, meaning that a wine marked DOC is produced in a specific, well-defined region in Italy, according to defined winemaking rules that are designed to preserve local traditions.
Examples:
Barone Pizzini Curtefranca Rosso DOC
Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore

IGT:
Indicazione Geografica Tipica — One step up from VdT. An IGT-classed wine is “typical” of a particular geography or local region. Most IGT wines are simple, made from grapes grown locally and intended to be drunk young.
Examples:
Barone Pizzini San Carlo I.G.T. Sebino
Pievalta Marche IGT Rosso

VdT:
Vino da Tavola — Table Wine. Wines marked with a VdT on the label tells you they’re made in Italy.

You can find Barone Pizzini and Pievalta at fine retailers throughout the U.S., from Washington D.C.’s A. Litteri to Milwaukee’s Gloriosos Italian Market to Savour Wine & Cheese in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Pievalta, which is a biodynamic winery (more on that here) is in especially high demand in places like New York City (visit Chambers Street Wines), San Francisco (check out Big Hammer Wines), and Chicago (visit Flickinger Fine Wines).

Know of another great retailer that specializes in great Italian quality wines like Barone Pizzini and Pievalta? Tell us in the comments section!

Saluti!

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