Italian wine labels, just like those from France and Spain, are required by law to show an established set of basic information (producer name, appellation, vintage, alcohol content and bottle volume). Italy began developing its official wine classifications in the 1960s, modeled on the French appellation system. The DOC and DOCG categories were introduced in 1963 (although the latter remain unused until 1982), and the IGT category followed in the early 1990's.
Below is an annotated label, and below that an overview of Italy's wine classifications and label terminology. For comprehensive information on Italy and its wines, see Italy.
The four official tiers of Italian wine classification:
|Italian Wine Terms|
|Amarone||Dry red wine made from dried grapes (a form of passito)|
|Cantina sociale||Co-operative winery|
|Chiaretto||Pale red or dark rosé|
|Classico||Denotes the traditional, theoretically superior, vineyard area within a DOC/G zone|
|Metodo Classico||Sparkling wine made by the classic Champagne method|
|Novello||Literally 'new' – describes light, fruity wines intended for early consumption rather than cellaring|
|Passito||Generic term for wine made from dried grapes (typically sweet but sometimes dry)|
|Recioto||Sweet red or white wine made from dried grapes (a form of passito)|
|Ripasso||full-bodied, powerful wine style made by re-fermenting wine with amarone grape skins|
|Superiore||wines with greater concentration and higher alcoholic strength|
|Vin Santo||A dessert wine style originally from Tuscany, generally made from air-dried Trebbiano grapes. The style is now made in various Italian regions.|
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