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Denominazione di Origine Controllata

Denominazione 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:

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:

Wines labelled DOC or DOCG may only be sold in bottles holding at most 5 liters.

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