DOC and DOCG Wines

The Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) is a certification that guarantees the highest quality for Italian wines, while the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) has a less stringent set of guidelines.

The distinguishing characteristic shared by these two classification schemes is the presence of several criteria rather than a single one. Grape varieties, vineyard locations, grape harvest quantities, alcohol concentrations, and even the utilisation of oak barrels are all subject to strict guidelines for DOC wines. DOCG standards are much tougher than DOC—for example, lower yields are required, as well as wines must be matured in barrels for a longer period of time. And DOCG entails submitting the wines for scientific study and tasting in order to obtain government approval prior to being labelled as "DOCG" wines. DOCG wines are protected from forgery by a numbered government seal on the bottle's neck.

Although DOC and DOCG are good places to start looking for high-quality Italian wines, something to bear in mind that not all DOC and DOCG wines will suit your tastes (or your budget), and that there are many excellent Italian wines that do not have either of these labels.

DOC and DOCG Wines


There are a number of laws in place in Italy that were enacted in the 1960s to ensure the genuineness and high standard of Italian wine. You may be familiar with these shorthand notations from Prosecco bottles, but they are also found on numerous Italian wines. These labels are meant to help you determine the origin and quality of the wine you're purchasing.

DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita

When it comes to Italian wine, this is the highest possible rating. DOCG wines are the pinnacle of Italian winemaking. Because of the labelling, you may rest assured that each bottle was made using controlled production procedures (controllata) and is of guaranteed wine quality (garantita).

DOCG wines are produced according to strict regulations, including those governing the use of particular grape varieties, the yield limit for grapes, the degree of ripeness of grapes at harvest time, winemaking techniques and barrel or bottle aging.

In order to become a DOCG wine, a wine must first pass a certified tasting process. It will be marked with a numbered government seal to prevent counterfeiting. Italy is home to 74 different DOCG wines , with the majority coming from Piedmont, Tuscany, and Veneto.

Excellent wines with the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation include:

  • Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany)
  • Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Tuscany)
  • Chianti (Tuscany)
  • Barolo (Piedmont)
  • Barbaresco (Piedmont)

DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata

DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, refers to "designation of controlled origin," making it the second-highest quality standard in Italy. However, there are still stringent quality and authenticity requirements to meet in order to be awarded this status.

Each of Italy's 329 DOC wines is subject to its own regulations on the allowed grape types, maximum harvest yields, ageing requirements. These guidelines apply to both red and white wines arrays, from the sparkling Prosecco to the sweet Vin Santo dessert wines.

If you're looking for some excellent Italian wines with a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), consider the following options.


  • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Abruzzo)
  • Orvieto (Umbria)
  • Bardolino (Veneto)
  • Soave (Veneto)
  • Valpolicella (Veneto)

Wine Cart makes it simple and easy for you to purchase a DOCG/DOC wine, as we have a multitude of these amazing wines on our website for you to enjoy. Wine Cart brings the finest tastes of Italian wine to your dining room.


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