Wine, passion and Italian culture par excellence. But quality also needs to be certified. So it was decided to give even greater nobility to the wines through precise provisions, which could catalog them and make the public better known. The acronym DOC, which stands for “denomination of controlled origin” was officially born on July 12, 1963, with the Italian law number 930. Three years later, in 1966, the first products with the prescribed characteristics had been recognized.
It is an important birthday, because from that moment the bottles of wine with the right characteristics have been able to boast the initials Doc on their labels, distinguishing themselves from other products. In practice, an “extra” that increases its value, including monetary value, giving the possibility of further expansion, both in Italy and abroad, of the wine product. A very significant part, we speak of more than half of what comes out of our cellars, in fact goes around the world. And this is very important in times of economic hardship.
The law governing the world of Doc wines is precise
The official rule states that the three-letter acronym delimits the geographical area of production; specify the grape variety, as well as the type of grape growing soil. The yield of the grapes in wine must also be clear, to avoid excessive exploitation of the vine. Production technologies, the characteristics of the finished product (acidity, minimum alcohol content, organoleptic qualities) must be certified.
Other indications may also be added on the labels. For example Doc Classico, for wines produced in the area of the most ancient tradition, or Riserva, for those subjected to a longer aging than normal. Finally Superiore for wines with better characteristics, for sugar concentration and higher alcohol content.
Doc, everyone is first to the race
All Italian regions can boast wine production with significant DOC wines. Therefore it is extremely difficult to make definitive or absolute rankings. For reasons of space we can therefore limit ourselves to mentioning some areas of excellence, such as Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Lombardy. Moving south we remember for example Campania, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia. Similar premise for the citations relating to the most important production areas: here the mind always runs, for example, towards the Langhe in Piedmont, Nebbiolo and Barolo, Tuscany with the Sangiovese grape, the Chianti Classico and the Brunello di Montalcino and Veneto with Valpolicella and Amarone.
But be careful, Doc label isn’t the only one…
It is also important to know that, in addition to the Doc, there are other acronyms. DOCG, i.e. Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin. These wines, compared to the DOC, have stricter values to respect, as a more restricted portion of the territory. This denomination can be assigned to wines already recognized for 5 years as Doc and a double examination is foreseen, both in the production and bottling phase.
Then there is the IGT (Typical Geographical Indication) mark, with less restrictive requirements than those for Doc wines. In practice, the PGI denomination can be considered as the first step of nobility of table wines towards indications of origin. Then there are the PDO wines, a protected designation of origin whose characteristics mostly depend on the geographical area of production.
One of the many annual wine rankings
Do we want to end with a ranking? Repeating that it is one of the many possible is never exaggerated. We are a people of experts and of all experts and basically everyone is entitled to have and transmit preferences. Then italiani.it chose the ranking of Forbes magazine, which reported the best 50 wines of Italy, through the eighth edition of the Best Italian Wine Awards. The 2019 edition took first place the Tuscan Bolgheri Sassicaia Doc 2016 of Tenuta San Guido. At the second Piedmontese Barolo Monvigliero Docg 2015 by Burlotto. Finally on the third step of the podium we find the South Tyrolean Terminum Gewürztraminer late harvest Alto Adige Doc 2016 of the Cantina Tramin.
At this point the only thing to do is a virtual toast, each with a glass of their Doc wine. The cic quality will always be. But with the quantity… let’s go slowly… to health!