Vino’s Italian wine classes continue, Wednesday, October 14


DOCG wines are identifiable by the distinctive pink label wrapped around the neck of the bottle, like on this Brunello di Montalcino.

What’s the difference between DOC and DOCG? Is a DOCG wine automatically superior? Why are some of my favorite wines classified IGT? If you’ve ever drunk Italian wine (and if you’re reading this, there’s a big chance you have) you’ve probably asked yourself these questions and others like them. As is the case with most things governmental in Italy, the system for classifying its wines can be apparently simple but deceptively complex, and can oftentimes cause a headache.

piedmont docg blog

As these maps clearly suggest, navigating Italy’s DOCs and DOCGs can be tricky. And that’s only Piedmont…

The DOC label assurance was launched in Italy in 1962, and was modeled on France’s AOC system. By 1980, the DOC list had become so crowded the DOCG was introduced to give greater importance to Italy’s top-drawer wines. Or as Italian wine expert Robert Scibelli himself once put it to me, it was the government’s way of saying “this time we really mean it.” Today there is some debate as to the number of wines which currently make up the DOCG list. With wine experts, bloggers, Wikipedia and even the Italian Ministry of Agriculture seemingly unable to settle on the same figure, estimates typically fluctuate anywhere between 32 and 45 appellations. Italian wine blog VinoWire (I like to think of it as the Reuters for Italian wine) has a pretty comprehensive and up-to-date take on the matter here.

On Wednesday, October 14 let Robert do the hard work for you as he attempts to deconstruct this ever-changing legal landscape which continues to leave Italian wine fans stumped. In what is an exciting new addition to Vino’s class schedule, Mr. Scibelli will also be presenting a world-class tasting of wines from some of Italy’s most famous DOCGs.

with Robert Scibelli, DWS
Wednesday, October 14

For more information and reservations call 212-725-6516 or email


2 Responses to OMG! DOCG!

  1. […] list of DOCs and DOCGs. Back in NYC, my friend and colleague James Taylor posted at the VinoNYC blog: “as is the case with most things governmental in Italy, the system for classifying its wines […]

  2. […] Italy’s “best sommelier”Alfonso on Tom Hyland: a panoramic tasting of 2005 BaroloOMG! DOCG! « Vino, I Trulli, Centovini on A complete list of […]

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