Italian Quality Levels

By both Italian and European Union law, every Italian winegrowing area is assigned a quality level, based on prestige, historical significance, viticultural and winemaking standards, and other factors. The highest quality level in Italy, in principle, is Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita or DOCG, of which there are currently 77 (there have only been four additions—Canelli, Nizza, Terre Alfieri, and Terre Tollesi/Tullum—since 2011). The second level is Denominazione d’Origine Controllata or DOC. There are 332 DOCs (including the newest, Delle Venezie and Riviera del Garda Classico, approved in mid-2017). European Union law allows Italian producers to continue to use these terms, but the EU officially considers both to be at the same level of Protected Designation of Origin or PDO—known in Italy as Denominazione d’Origine Protetta or DOP. Therefore, the list of Italian DOPs contains all 408 DOCs and DOCGs together.

Click here to download a complete list of current DOC/DOCGs (pdf)

Click here for the searchable online list of current Italian wine areas

The quality level below DOC or DOP has less stringent requirements and therefore gives producers more leeway on how they make their wines. It is called Protected Geographic Indication or PGI in English—Indicazione Geografica Protetta or IGP in Italian. There are 119 IGPs, which are included in the searchable online list. This level was traditionally called IGT for Indicazione Geografica Tipica, and producers are allowed to use either term, IGP or IGT, on the label.

Everything else that does not qualify for the DOP or IGP level, due to being produced outside an officially approved area or failing to follow the requirements mandated for wines of that area, is simply “wine” or vino.

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