If you know how to read Italian wine labels, it will definitely be useful when picking your next bottle.
Labels such as IGT, IGP, STG, DOP, DOC or DOCG give us a guarantee of both quality and tradition, showing the level of uniqueness and preserving the tradition of the product.
Wine with a higher labelling is not necessarily better than wine with a lower labelling. So, what exactly do all these labels mean?
- IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica - Indication of Geographical Typicality): Wine with the IGT label is produced in a defined geographical area, according to a set of rules. However, these wines do not meet the requirements of higher labelled categories. IGT wines can contain non-Italian grapes as well (max 15%), but this does not affect their quality at all.
- IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta -Indication of Geographic Protection): The rules for the IGP label are stricter than the IGT label. The idea behind the IGP labelling is, that at least one important part of the production process must take place in the specific area where it comes from.
- STG (Specialità Tradizionali Garantite - Traditional Guaranteed Specialty): STG wines are not tied to a specific geographical territory. This label guarantees that the recipe or production methods of a wine stick to the original ones. So that, an STG wine can be produced in any other UE Country as long as the production method has been certified by any accredited monitoring organisation.
- DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta – Protected Designation of Origin): The quality and characteristics of the wine depend on the place where it is made. Therefore, all the production, transformation and processing of the product must take place in the specific delimited area.
- DOC (Denominazione Origine Controllata - Controlled Designation of Origin): DOC wines are produced in a specific area, where grapes used for its preparation, are also grown.
- DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita - Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin): It is the highest classification in Italy. All DOCG wines from each producer are analysed and tasted by government-licensed panel before being bottled. The rules are incredibly strict! For example, a wine with a DOCG certification must have already had a DOC logo for at least 10 years.