IGT, DOC, DOCG, and Super Tuscan: let’s clarify some things


Wines are always accompanied by symbols and signs that enclose important information about the type of wine and the rules that have been applied to achieve it. Let’s try to establish some clarity between abbreviations IGT, DOC, DOCG and the Super Tuscan category.

The abbreviation IGT means Indicazione Geografia Tipica, introduced in 2010, indicates wines produced over vast areas and, if the abbreviation is followed by the name of a region means that the grapes can come from all over that region. IGT differs from DOC and DOCG because for the production of wine grape varieties may be used freely without having to meet the guidelines of the consortia. In fact, if in a year a vine cannot be used it can be replaced without penalty, a freedom that can lead to more balanced blend of grape varieties.

The suggestion is to not be suspicious of the IGT, but to deepen your knowledge and learn to appreciate them, because they are not low-quality wines at low prices, in fact in some cases there are many farms that produce IGT wines rewarded with some really super high prices.

The acronym DOC indicates the Denomination of Controlled Origin, this designation was introduced in 2010 and certifies the delimited area of ​​origin and of the grape harvest used for the production of a certain type of wine. The wines must be submitted, then, to specific physical and chemical composition analysis, carried out by bodies responsible for monitoring, to check the naming requirements, if they are less than those pre-established the wine is classified as table wine or IGT.

The initials DOCG – Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin is a brand that tells the consumer the geographical origin of the wine, the territory which can be restricted to single fraction, village or even the micro-zones that correspond to the vines.

The regulation to produce DOCG wines can be even more restricted where in addition to the production area, the manufacturer must follow a certain percentage of grapes to be used to make the wine.

The classifications DOC and DOCG, compared to IGT, have the specification of stricter production regulations aimed at the expression of the territory and typicality. The DOCG acronym must be interpreted not as better quality in absolute terms, but in the production of a typical product which is expression of the land from which it comes.

In addition to these symbols, in recent years a new formal Tuscan name has come into the fore, the Super Tuscan. There are many companies that choose to make wines, defined Super Tuscans, which do not respect DOC or DOCG regulations and use international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot in addition to the classic and very Tuscan Sangiovese. The birth of this type of wine goes back to the 70s, among the first and most famous Super Tuscans you can find Vigorello, Sassicaia, Tignanello and many others.

The Super Tuscan wines are very interesting, an expression of the inventive and the good will of the producers who continue to renew themselves, testing themselves with wines and particular varieties that are not covered in the areas of the disciplinary DOC and DOCG.

Now you have all the necessary tools for knowing how to orient yourself in the eChiantishop cellar!

Andrea Ranfagni

Sommelier FISAR

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