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Italy Wines Appellation

First, like the rest of Europe, Italian wines may be labelled by the region they come from. For example, Chianti and Soave are named by the region.

The wines may also be labelled by the grape variety. Barbera and Pinot Grigio are grape varieties, and you may see wine labelled as such. Sometimes you will also see a region designation appended, like d'Asti or di Montalcino (the d' and di mean "from").



Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
This is the top designation; it means that the wine was made using appropriately traditional methods and appropriately traditional grapes (for weak definitions of traditional; current Chianti is quite unlike the Chianti of a hundred years ago). DOCG wines must also pass a taste test by the government regulators.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
This means that the wine is basically what it claims to be, assuming you can decipher the label. The wine must be produced in the usual manner using the usual grapes and methods that are appropriate to the wine and region.
Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)
This is the designation for quality wine that isn't DOC or DOCG, usually because of the use of nontraditional methods or grapes. A region is named somewhere.
Vino da Tavola
This is the lowest grade table wine, with no interesting designations whatsoever.
Vino Spumante (Aromatico) di Qualita
This unusual designation is used for sparkling wines where secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle. The "Aromatic" wines (I am told this includes moscato, malvasia, and brachetto) require at least one month, the others at least 9. VSQ/VSAQ is only used if the wine does not qualify as DOC/DOCG, typically due to nontraditional grapes or grapes sourced outside traditional zones (as in the case of VSAQ Prosecco)
The government regulatory seal (usually around the neck, going over the cork) on the bottles of DOCG wine is actually color-coded. Green is for white wine, red is for red wine, and pink is for sparkling.



You might also see something like VQPRD on a bottle. This stands for Vino di Qualita Prodotto in Regione Determinata (Quality Wine Produced in Determined Region) and is a EU labeling thing roughly corresponding with AOC/DOC/DOCG
Wines of Italy 
Grape Varieties
Wine Regions
The Wine
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