Italian wine classifications

When it comes to Italian wines there are classifications which give information about both production and quality. Here you can find short descriptions to of each classification of the Italian wine law established in 1963.


Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita – Controlled and Guaranteed Origin

The DOCG designation was created to differentiate the top Italian wines. DOCG is a tighter and more restrictive control than the DOC created to ”Garantita” a higher class of wine than the general DOC. A panel of impartial tasters and in-depth technical analysis guarantee the quality of the wines to receive the approval from the Ministry of Agriculture for a DOCG marked wine.


2. DOC 

Denominazione di origine controllata – Denomination of Controlled Origin

The DOC, created in the early 1960s equates with the French AOC/AC system. DOC regulations limit the production area, wine color, permitted grape varieties, wine style, alcohol levels, and both maximum and minimum proportions as well as permitted or mandated viticultural, vinification and maturation techniques. There are 330 DOC wines in Italy today.


3. IGP 

Indicazione geografica protetta – Protected geografical indication

After the classifications DOCG and DOC comes IGP, which means that the wine is marked with the geographic location to guarantee that the product comes from that specific area and that it has the properties and qualities associated with this area.


4. Vino da tavola

Table wine

This is the lowest classification yet here you can find some of Italy’s most expensive and top wines. These top wines may, for example, use a grape that is not allowed in the local DOC and then the wine is automatically classified as Vino da tavola.


Our district

Piemonte is located at the foot of the Alps in Italy's northwest corner. Here are there are 17 DOCG areas and 42 DOC areas. Nebbiolo is widely accepted as the best grape for red wines, and with this grape you make wines in the DOCG districts Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara and Ghemme. In Barolo, the wines are deep red in their youth, but the color fades quickly when stored. Barolo may lie at least two years in a barrel of chestnut or oak. Barbaresco is a slightly lighter wine of the same type. Gattinara is initially strong and rustic but softens after a couple of years in a bottle. Ghemme is a simpler wine, but in recent years the quality has increased significantly. Other DOCG areas are Brachetto d'Acqui and Cortese di Gavi.

The Grapes

Barbera is produced in areas around the towns of Alba and Asti, rustic red wines. Often good food wines with a great fruitiness and a certain roughness. 100% Barbera grapes. In Asti, sparkling wines, called Asti Spumante, are made on the Moscato Bianco grape. Asti also makes red wines at Barbera, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo.


Alba DOC · Albugnano DOC · Alta Langa DOCG · Asti DOCG · Barbaresco DOCG · Barbera d’Alba DOC · Barbera d’Asti DOCG · Barbera del Monferrato DOC · Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG · Barolo DOCG · Boca DOC · Brachetto d’Acqui / Acqui DOCG · Bramaterra DOC · Calosso DOC · Canavese DOC · Carema DOC · Cisterna d’Asti DOC · Colli Tortonesi DOC · Collina Torinese DOC · Colline Novaresi DOC · Colline Saluzzesi DOC · Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato DOC · Coste della Sesia DOC · Dogliani DOCG · Dolcetto d’Acqui DOC · Dolcetto d’Alba DOC · Dolcetto d’Asti DOC · Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba / Diano d’Alba DOCG · Dolcetto di Ovada DOC · Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore / Ovada DOCG · Erbaluce di Caluso / Caluso DOCG · Fara DOC · Freisa d’Asti DOC · Freisa di Chieri DOC · Gabiano DOC · Gattinara DOCG · Gavi / Cortese di Gavi DOCG · Ghemme DOCG · Grignolino d’Asti DOC · Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC · Langhe DOC · Lessona DOC · Loazzolo DOC · Malvasia di Casorzo d’Asti / Malvasia di Casorzo / Casorzo DOC · Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco DOC · Monferrato DOC · Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC · Nizza DOCG · Piemonte DOC · Pinerolese DOC · Roero DOCG · Rubino di Cantavenna DOC · Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG · Sizzano DOC · Strevi DOC · Terre Alfieri DOC · Valli Ossolane DOC · Valsusa DOC · Verduno Pelaverga / Verduno DOC


Albarossa · Arneis · Barbera · Bonarda · Brachetto · Chardonnay · Cortese · Croatina · Dolcetto · Erbaluce · Favorita · Freisa · Grignolino · Malvasia Nera · Moscato · Nebbiolo · Neretta Cuneese · Ruchè · Timorasso · Uva Rara · Vespolina