The acronym DOC means Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Controlled Designation of Origin in English), and identifies the second level of protection, lower than DOCG, in the Italian wine classification. It is often accompanied or replaced by the European acronym DOP, which means Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin in English).
The wines the DOC appellation are subject to less stringent production rules and have less restrictive guidelines than DOCG wines. Even the areas of production are usually geographically larger areas. For example:
- Valtellina Rosso DOC refers to the Valtellina, a specific valley in Lombardy;
- Trento DOC refers to the province of Trento.
It is not possible to acquire the DOC appellation without having a lower level classification. In fact, the DOC mark is reserved exclusively for wines already recognized as IGT for at least 10 years.
The IGT wines that aspire to acquire the DOC appellation have to be valuable, both for the quality characteristics and for the acquired commercial reputation. The request has to be advanced by at least 35% of the subjects who lead the vineyards and which represent at least 35% of the total vineyards area.
Before going on the market, DOC wines have to undergo a preliminary chemical-physical analysis and an organoleptic examination certifying compliance with the requirements of the guidelines.
As for DOCG wines, also for DOC wines it is mandatory to include on the label the complete wording Denominazione di Origine Controllata (or the European Denominazione di Origine Protetta), but it is not obligatory to indicate the vintage of the harvest. In countries where there is bilingualism, it is also possible (but not obligatory) to find the wording in the language of the local minority:
- in South Tyrol, in German: Kontrollierte Ursprungsbezeichnung
- in Aosta Valley, in French: Appellation d'origine contrôlée
- in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in Slovenian: Kontrolirano poreklo