Region Overview-Italy

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ITALIAN WINE FACTS

  • Wine has been produced in Italy for over 4,000 years
  • Ancient Greeks dubbed it “Enotria” – land of wine
  • Romans propagated the cult of Bacchus -establishing a flourishing wine trade thousands of years ago
  • Leading producer of wine in the world
  • Thousands of different wines are produced in Italy’s 20 regions
  • Hundreds of different grape varieties

ITALIAN WINE LAWS

Vini Varietali & Vino (formerly Vino da Tavola)

  • Simplest wines
  • Few government controls
  • New EU rules allow for use of following grapes with Country of Origin with/without vintage date:
    • Cabernet
    • Merlot
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Syrah
    • Cabernet Franc
    • Chardonnay
    • Sauvignon
    • Wine – Red, White, Rose

IGT/IGP (Indication of Typical Geographic Origin)

  • Less restrictive than DOC
  • Some examples – Toscana (not every region has a general IGT), Maremma Toscana, Delle Venezie (inter-region Veneto /Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige)

DOC/DOP (Denomination of Controlled Origin)

  • 300 + wines from all 20 regions EEC = PDO/DOP – Protected Denomination of Origin/Denominazione di Origine Protetta
  • Regulates geography, grapes, yields and in some cases – ageing

DOCG/DOP (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin)

  • 74 Wines – only 15 regions EEC =PDO/DOP – Protected Denomination of Origin/Denominazione di Origine Protetta
  • Most Restrictive Category.
  • Further guarantee of authenticity.
  • No wine law can guarantee quality, only producer can do that.

HOW ITALIAN WINES ARE NAMED

  • Grape Variety – Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, etc. Usually in conjunction with an IGT or DOC
  • Area/Zone of Production – Barolo, Chianti, Gavi, Valpolicella, etc.
  • Grape Variety and Area/Zone – Brunello di Montalcino, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Brachetto d’Acqui, etc.
  • Fantasy /Proprietary Names – Excelsus, Sassicaia, Summus, Tignanello, etc. Usually

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