Wine Production Regulation: what it is and how it works
The term wine production disciplinary refers to those norms which regulate wine production according to the appellation of origin they refer to. Practically they are a set of rules to be followed in order to obtain a Docg, Doc or Igt wine.
The disciplinary contains many articles where are specified, for example, vines (varieties and range of percentage allowed), production area, grape yield. As well as the characteristics of the wine obtained and the indications to be put on the label. There is also a Control and Certification body which for Valpolicella wines is Siquria (Italian Society for Quality and Traceability of Food).
Requirements are more and more strict in case of passing from IGT to DOC and from DOC to DOCG.
In Italy wines are classified in:
- Wines without indication of origin (with or without vintage and grape varieties)
- IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica, Typical Geographic Indication)
- DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata, Denomination of Controlled Origin)
- DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin)
There are many IGT/DOC/DOCG, each one with a well defined production area; the so called ampelographic base – that is which grape varieties are allowed to produce a given label and in what percentage – the type and the peculiar characteristics of the wine to be consumed and the norms related to viticulture, vinification, labeling and packaging.
What are the possible wine appellations?
IGT – Typical Geographical Indication
In fact, this appellation falls under the European umbrella of PGI, that is protected geographical indications. These wines are characterized by the geographical indication of origin, of the base grape variety and of the vintage. The peculiarity, as the name itself suggests, is that grapes must be harvested for at least 85% from the geographical area they are named after. Besides these elements, some parameters indicated in the disciplinary must be respected:
- Maximum yield of grapes per hectare
- Yield of transformation of grapes into wine
- Minimum natural alcohol by volume
- Grape varieties of origin allowed
DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata
They are produced in a specific geographical area and they must meet precise chemical and organoleptic characteristics, set by the disciplinary. The disciplinary also provides the types of wine that can be produced, the quantity of grapes that can be obtained for each hectare, the varieties that can be used, the minimum natural alcohol content, the type and duration of any aging.
Controls for this type of wine are, just like for I.G.T., of chemical type, but in addition to these there is also an organoleptic analysis.
The differences between this appellation and the previous one are very few. Also in this case we are talking about an item belonging to the family of DOP appellations and it also has the status of traditional mention, therefore it can be printed on labels.
As of 2019 in Italy we found as many as 332 DOC appellations, this entry being older than the previous one. There are many products having this acronym, within the agri-food sector of our country; certainly not only wines.
DOCG – Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita
It is a type of appellation used for wines which falls under the wider umbrella of the European PDO appellation, related to all protected designations of origin, dating back to 2009. Since twelve years ago, DOCG denomination is considered as a traditional term and it can be written on every label in place of DOP.
In Italy we count 73 DOCG appellations (data updated to 2019), The rules imposed by the specifications are stricter than for D.O.C. wines and in this case the bands that close the wine’s heat-shrinking capsule have a unique code and are issued by the State.
Wine Production regulation: Amarone della Valpolicella
As we said at the beginning, wine production disciplinary prescribes and regulates every detail about the production of an agricultural or food product. It is, therefore, a law to all intents and purposes that defines strict requirements, both productive and commercial, of every product called wine.
The disciplinary establishes how a specific wine must be produced in order to bear its name. A DOCG specialty must respect exactly what is imposed by the regulation for DOCG. This is the case, for example, of Amarone della Valpolicella.
The text of the appellation establishes which is the correct mention and which is its type; which product is being talked about and in which region and province it is produced. A disciplinary is periodically revised, that is updated and/or modified as well as sometimes divided, because from one type of merchandise can be generated another one. The specification can also be merged or abrogated.
The organization which supervises the creation and the management of every appellation is called Consortium for the safeguarding (Consorzio di Tutela).
The most prestigious wine of Valpolicella, whose excellence and uniqueness are recognized all over the world, is obtained first of all by drying the grapes, which rest in “fruttai” for 100/120 days: in this period the precious substances of the berries, such as sugars and polyphenols, are concentrated.
The dried grapes are vinified in winter, and a slow and skilful fermentation produces a dry wine with a high alcohol content. A long aging in wood perfects its unique structure and personality, making it able to keep and evolve for decades. It is possible to find the text of the production disciplinary of Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG on the website of Consorzio tutela vino Valpolicella.
Fratelli Vogadori, the experts of Venetian wines
Besides Amarone, in Valpolicella there are other concentrated and decisive reds for every wine lover. One is Corvina Veronese IGT, fruit of the main grape of the blends of the valley – Corvina veronese in fact, the others are called Corvinone, Rondinella, Oseleta and Negrara. The other is Recioto DOCG, a red wine with violet hues, perfect for dessert.
The master vintners of the Vogadori family from Negrar di Valpolicella are historical producers of these appellations as well as of Amarone Classico, a very appreciated wine, complex and with a great structure. All the traditional labels of the Veronese valley are available on their online store.