Itinerary No. 4
wine is classification
Wine is a work of art and the vine is its main author.
Each grapes variety has its own characteristics, some evident as the color or the perfume, others that can be revealed over time thanks to the human hand; each represents a world in progress, with a history from the past more or less known but with potentialities that, depending on the external stimuli, open themselves to the most varied interpretations.
With different names, sometimes over-articulated, the territorial designations draw the frame of the work of art that we are preparing to know. The frame does not say much, it is evident, but it shows us where we must look for the genuine intimacy of the author, that is of the grape.
The Genius Loci brings together the many meanings of a place, like a vineyard, a hill or an entire valley. If we investigate carefully, we discover one everywhere, ready to tell us the whole story of “his” world. We can therefore think that the designations are its paraphrase, a reading of what the place offers in terms of nature, environment and tradition.
In Italy there are many - even too many - designation of origin, which cover the entire territory: 74 Designations of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita, also DOCG), 334 Designations of Controlled Origin (Denominazioni di Origine Controllata, also DOC) and 118 Typical Geographical Indications (Indicazione Geografica Tipica, also IGT).
Quality appellations are a codified consumer protection system. In fact, their main function is to indicate the origin of a wine and, at the same time, certify that its production takes place in compliance with a specific guideline. The Italian quality appellations are three: DOCG, DOC and IGT. Recently, in 2010, they were incorporated into European legislation and were added to the European DOP and IGP appellations.
But remember - and I will never tire of saying so - that appellations and protocols are not an absolute synonym of quality. The appellations in fact allow to characterize the wine according to the protocol indications (environmental, technological and human), but certainly not to define it more or less good. For example, let's think of the case in which the producer wants to experiment with new grapes or new techniques: the wine he will get will certainly be of a high standard without belonging to any denomination.
The appellations can be ideally represented inside a pyramid according to the strictness of the respective rules: at the top we will find the designations of origin (DOCG, DOC and DOP), in the middle the geographical indications (IGT and IGP) while at the base the most simple generic wine.
Mentions and specifications
Mentions and specifications are terms that we often find on the label of wines with designation of origin and which have the purpose of characterizing wine both in terms of production and territory. Their use is regulated by the relative protocols.
The mentions add a quality, giving a precise indication; the specifications instead identify narrower areas of production and may also consist of local toponyms.