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How Many Italian Wine Regions Receive the DOC Designation?

How Many Italian Wine Regions Receive the DOC Designation?

DOCG wines represent the pinnacle of Italian wine classification, adhering to strict rules regarding ageing, grape variety selection and production techniques. Each wine must pass an exhaustive technical analysis and tasting session prior to being given its DOCG label.

IGT wines fall below DOC but have higher quality standards than table wines (VdT). These must be produced from specific regions and adhere to certain rules such as maximum yields and winemaking techniques.

Chianti Classico

Chianti wine has long been revered worldwide as the epitome of Italian viniculture, yet many don't realize that there are two separate DOCGs called Chianti and Chianti Classico that make up this iconic label.

Cosimo III de Medici issued an edict in 1716 which clearly outlined the optimal geographic boundaries for wine grape production, thus creating one of Italy's most well-known wine appellations.

Today, all wines with the Chianti Classico DOCG must contain at least 80% Sangiovese grapes; the remaining 20% may include local varieties like Canaiolo and Colorino as well as international ones like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Furthermore, each wine must be aged for at least 24 months in bottle before going through a stringent tasting panel to be awarded this title.

Brunello di Montalcino

Montalcino, located atop a hilltop village, is home to some of Italy's premier red wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino made from Sangiovese grapes cultivated in Tuscany - often considered one of its best examples.

Aged for at least ten years in large wooden barrels, this wine offers intense and complex flavors with notes of red cherries, potpourri flowers vanilla paprika pine trees.

Aging gives Brunello di Montalcino DOCG its elegant and harmonic structure, pairing well with many dishes from grilled meats to heavy pasta and cheeses. At Uritalianwines, we carry several varieties from different vintages for you to discover in our shop.


Barolo stands as one of Italy's premier age-worthy wines and an exemplary example of synergy between a grape variety and place. Originating in Piedmont's Langhe hills in Cuneo province of northern Italy, this region-specific wine boasts full expression of Nebbiolo grape aromas.

Barolo stands out among Italy's long-lived wines due to its strict production and aging requirements, making it one of the country's premier vintages. The appellation covers Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and Monforte d'Alba villages along with parts of La Morra, Novello Verduno Grinzane Cavour Diano D'Alba Roddi Cherasco villages.

Terroir in this region comprises blue-grey soils composed of older Helvetian and Tortonian formations, and vineyards are located between an altitude of 550-1,800 feet/140-580 meters.


Valpolicella lies just east of Lake Garda and is most well known as the birthplace of Amarone wine, while Classico and Superiore varieties remain lesser-known but still contribute significantly to Verona's drinking culture.

These wines are created using a blend of native grape varieties, with Corvina playing an especially prominent role. Their fruity and light styles may also feature richer, deeper tones for maximum intensity.

Above DOCs comes Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), which gives producers more freedom in terms of grape varieties, production methods and other factors. IGT wines often eschew strict grape variety and production regulations found with DOC wines; additionally they tend to be cheaper. Still undergoing analysis by quality tasting panels however.


Vermentino has quickly become one of the most beloved DOC wines due to its bright citrus fruits and crisp acidity, becoming increasingly popular worldwide. While its exact origin remains unclear, DNA testing suggests it likely originated in Corsica and Sardinia as well as along the western Mediterranean coastal areas in Liguria and Tuscany.

This region is perfect for this grape, as its hot dry maritime climate provides ideal growing conditions and allows flavors to blossom. Sandier soils also make this ideal for viticulture.

With its mild citrus notes and versatility, DOCG wines make an ideal pairing for seafood dishes ranging from freshly shucked oysters with mignonette sauce, to fried clams or battered fish tacos. Artichokes' bitter flavors are balanced out by its acidity; DOCG wines guarantee quality with strict regulations covering minimum alcohol levels, harvest yield caps, ageing requirements and ageing protocols - something not all wines can match up against!

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What makes a wine a real Cellar Classic? From time to time we find ourselves marvelling at the creativity of the wine grower we always look to enrich our taste buds with something rather remarkable and share this with you.