What do the DOC and DOCG classifications on the wine label mean?

Was bedeuten die Klassifizierungen DOC und DOCG auf dem Weinetikett

According to EU law, the wine label must show the consumer what quality level and classification the wine has. This information is intended to help the consumer understand where the Wine comes, what quality it has, and also that compliance with the regulations is controlled. Since every EU country has its own wine laws, the regulations can also be very different, which can make it difficult for consumers to understand.

In the following paragraphs we would like to give you an overview of the classification of wines in Piedmont. We refrain from going into detail because the rules are very complicated and have many exceptions. If you would like to know more about this topic, please feel free to contact us at info @ babarolo .

Basically there are only two classifications on the wine label in Piedmont:

DOC (Denominazione Origine Controllata)

DOCG (Denominazione Origine Controllata Garantita)

These designations mean that the wines are classified based on their origin or their provenance, and that this information is checked and, in the case of the DOCG classification, also guaranteed. But this means above all, a quality classification. Compared to the German Wine Act, the DOC designation would include quality wines, while the DOCG designation would refer to quality wines.

Barolo and Barbaresco wines , the great plants of Piedmont, are all classified as DOCG wines and are subject to even stricter regulations than the DOC wines. But the DOC wines also meet very high quality standards, and the differences between these two names have become smaller in recent years.

All grape varieties grown in Piedmont have a defined growing area and all growing areas are in turn classified either in DOC or DOCG areas. There are 18 DOCG and 42 DOC areas and no other region in Italy has so many wines in the highest quality levels.

In principle, the winegrowers in Piedmont can determine the classification of their wines themselves. Always depending on the growing area in which your vineyards are located. However, you must meet strict regulations and conditions to obtain the appropriate classification. This also leads to the fact that some winegrowers deliberately lower the qualification of their wines in order to circumvent the strict regulations. This is a big difference to the practices in Germany, where, for example, a quality wine is also classified and marketed as a quality wine.

Another specialty in Piedmont are the names Superiore or Riserva. With Barolo or Barbaresco wines you can see the name Riserva on the label and Barbera and Dolcetto Crying will find the name Superiore. This means that the corresponding wines must have a longer prescribed minimum storage time or a higher alcohol content in order to be able to carry Riserva or Superiore on the label.

So when you buy your favorite Piedmont wine again, pay attention to whether it says DOC or DOCG on the banderole at the top of the bottle neck.

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