Are Italian DOC(G) wines better than non-DOC(G)?

Labels DOC * and DOCG ** on the neck of a bottle do not mean quality themselves, it means control, the rules prescribed in the law on the production of wines according to certain standards. First they appeared in 1963, guaranteeing territorial origin to protect and raise the level of Italian winemaking. It should be understood that then the wine was not the same as it is now. For the most part, it was low-quality table wine, which today not everyone would like to try even out of interest.

Since that time, production technologies have constantly improved, which also affected the quality of the product. Now, many Italian manufacturers deliberately refuse DOC and DOCG in order to have less dependence on cooperatives, bureaucracy and more freedom in self-expression. After all, winemaking is an art ( like Super Tuscans).

Nevertheless, a product made in accordance with the rules may be, if not exclusive, then quite worthy. Firstly, it is a guarantee that the wine was produced in a specific geographic area, and not imported from anywhere. Secondly, the production according to a certain technology satisfies the quality criteria prescribed by law.

So what is better, DOC or DOCG? The difference between the two statuses is that for the second one the wine before bottling also undergoes chemical analysis and tasting at state-licensed organizations.

Control is not always synonymous with excellent quality. But this is a worthy base among which you can find excellent wine to your own taste.

*DOC — Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Denomination of Controlled Origin).

**DOCG — Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin).

Originally published at on July 24, 2019.

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