How Italian wine designations came to be
In 1963, a group of Italian winemakers came together to create a way to raise the quality and standards of their wines. The idea was to classify wines by regions, traditions and the selection of grapes. The goal was to give the wine drinker a system to gauge the consistency, style and quality of the wine. The result was the designation system.
IGT - Typical Geographic Indication
Established in 1992, this label has been reserved to wines characterized by geography, but still gives freedom to the winemakers. Before this designation, it was impossible for Italian blends to receive DOC or DOCG accreditations. The designation was created to accommodate growers who could not meet DOC and DOCG regulations, but still produce great wines.
DOC - Controlled Designation of Origin
The DOC is one of the main tiers of Italian wine classifications. This certification has been exclusively used to distinguish quality wines and covers almost every traditional Italian wine style. The DOC label is granted to wines that have met the viticultural zone, grape varieties and wine style rules that are in place with this accreditation.
DOCG - Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin
DOCG is the highest wine classification in Italy and is granted to wines that have been recognized as a DOC wine for at least 5 years and of consistently high quality. These wines must follow the strictest rules. In order to be DOCG, the wine must be sold in bottles that are numbered and have a capacity of less than 5 liters. Also, the bottles must bear a state label guaranteeing their origin and quality.