The Makers


Italy is abode to several oldest known wine-producing provinces in the planet, and Italian wines are recognized globally for their wide diversity. Italy, narrowly followed by France, is the world’s leading wine producer by volume. Its input is about 45–50 million hl per year, and embodies about ⅓ of global production. Italian wine is exported about the globe and is also tremendously well-liked in Italy: Italians rank fifth on the world wine consumption list by volume with 42 liters per capita consumption. Grapes are grown in approximately every state of the country and there are more than one million vineyards under cultivation.

Italian Appellation (Classification) system
In 1963, the initial authorized Italian system of classification of wines was commenced. Since then, numerous amendments and addition to the legislation have been made (a major one in 1992), the last of which, in 2010, has established four basic categories, which are constant with the last EU regulation in matter of wine (2008–09). The categories, from the bottom stage to the top one, are:

  1. Vini (Wines - informally called 'generic wines'): These are wines that can be manufactured anyplace in the region of the EU; no indication of geographical origin, of the grape varieties used, or of the vintage is permitted on the label. (The label only conveys the color of the wine.)
  2. Vini Varietali (Varietal Wines): These are nonspecific wines that are made either typically (at least 85%) from one type of certified 'international' grapes (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah) or completely from two or more of them. The grape(s) and the vintage can be specified on the label. (The ban to point out the geographical origin is instead maintained. These wines can be produced anywhere in the territory of the EU.)
  3. Vini IGP (Wines with Protected Geographical Indication): This class (also conventionally employed in Italy as IGT - Typical Geographical Indication) is held in reserve to wines produced in a precise province within Italy and following a series of explicit and accurate regulations on sanctioned varieties, viticultural and vinification practices, organoleptic and chemico-physical characteristics, labeling instructions, etc. Currently (2014) there exist 118 IGPs/IGTs.
  4. Vini DOP (Wines with Protected Designation of Origin): This class includes two sub-categories, i.e. Vini DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) and Vini DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin). DOC wines must have been IGP wines for at least 5 years. They usually come from smaller regions, within a certain IGP territory, that are chiefly vocated for their climatic and geological characteristics and for the excellence and inventiveness of the local winemaking traditions. They also have to follow stricter production regulations than IGP wines. A DOC wine can be proped up to DOCG if it has been a DOC for at least 10 years. In addition to rewarding the prerequisites for DOC wines (seeing that's the category they come from), before commercialization DOCG wines must pass stricter scrutiny, including a tasting by a specially appointed committee. DOCG wines have also established a greater viable success. Currently (2014) there exist 332 DOCs and 73 DOCGs for a total of 405 DOPs.

A number of sub-categories also subsist regulating the manufacture of sparkling wines (e.g. Vino Spumante, Vino Spumante di Qualità, Vino Spumante di Qualità di TipoAromatico, Vino Frizzante).

Italian Wine Regions

Aosta Valley Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol Toscana Sardinia Basilicata
Piemonte Friuli-Venezia Giulia Marche Abruzzo Puglia
Liguria Veneto Umbria Molise Calabria
Lombardia Emilia-Romagna Lazio Campania Sicily


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