Denominazione di Origine ControllataDenominazione di origine controllata
is an Italian
quality ensurance label for food products and especially wines (an appellation
). It is modelled after the French AOC
. It was instituted in 1963
and overhauled in 1992
for compliance with the equivalent EU
law on Protected Designation of Origin
, which came into effect that year.
There are two levels of labels:
- DOC — Denominazione di Origine Controllata
- DOCG — Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita
Both require that a food product be produced within the specified region using defined methods and that it satisfies a defined quality standard.
DOCG regions are subterritories of DOC regions that produce outstanding products that may be subject to more stringent production and quality standards than the same products from the surrounding DOC region.
The need for a DOCG identification arose when the DOC denomination was, in the view of many Italian food industries, given too liberally to different products. A new, more restrictive identification was then created, as similar as possible to the previous one so that buyers could still recognize it, but qualitatively different.
A notable difference for wines is that DOCG labelled wines are analysed and tasted by government–licensed personnel before being bottled. To prevent later manipulation, DOCG wine bottles then are sealed with a numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork.
Italian legislature additionally regulates the use of the following qualifying terms for wines:
- classico: is reserved for wines produced in the region where a particular type of wine has been produced "traditionally". For the Chianti classico, this "traditional region" is defined by a decree from July 10, 1932.
- riserva: may be used only for wines that have been aged at least two years longer than normal for a particular type of wine.
Wines labelled DOC or DOCG may only be sold in bottles holding at most 5 liters.