Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Newest Best Italian DOCG list (now up to 50 and holding?)

Revised March 13, 2010
In my research, it has been all but impossible to pinpoint the complete list of Italian DOCG wines. Recently, I have been able to find eight more, the newest being Aglianico del Vulture and the duo “Amarone della Valpolicella” and “Recioto della Valpolicella”, Moscato di Scanzo, Elba Aleatico Passito and Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Prosecco Superiore Asolo And a two Marche DOCG's of Verdicchio of which there are designations for Verdicchio di Matelica and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico (and riserva) , bringing the list up to 50.

If anyone knows of any more DOCG wines, or if there is a list available that is more complete or accurate, please feel free to contact me. I have looked on the Italian Trade Commission site; they still list only 35 wines. Wikipedia lists 36 only lists 32 wines. Luca Zaia’s website has nothing on the DOCG, but he’s just the minister of agriculture, why would he need to have one? I guess having seven Facebook pages (one personal and six groups, sorry you have to be a member to follow the link) makes up for it. There’s nothing to be found about it on the Italian Wine Merchants site, but then again, they make no claims to be the best educational site for Italian wines, just this statement, “Since 1999, Italian Wine Merchants (IWM) has worked diligently to demystify Italian wine through its detailed website and weekly E-letter, Wine Clubs, educational tasting events and a carefully selected portfolio of current and vintage Italian bottlings.” But no demystifying by listing a current and complete DOCG list can be readily found on their site.
Update March 13, 2010, from Muddy Boots blog

posted by Luciano Pignataro on his own blog: the excellent news that the Aglianico del Vulture appellation will be given DOCG status.
As he reports, the DOCG designation will require Riserva wines to be held for five years before market release.
The current DOC appellation will of course continue to be used for high-quality wines of perhaps lesser longevity.
The Basilicata IGT's will be given to wines that fall outside of disciplinare rules.
Let me quote Luciano directly at the end of his writeup:
Experience shows that it isn't the appellation on the label that determines a wine's success, but it certainly helps shape its identity, which is what's happened with the three DOCGs of Irpinia [in Campania].
In our judgment, Aglianico del Vulture absolutely needs this recognition to hoist itself to the level of Taurasi and become a standard-bearer in the South for the lovers of wine red.

Update Dec 1, 2009: Vino Wire reports this:

According to a press release published last week online by the Italian Agriculture Ministry, the DOCG for Amarone della Valpolicella (previously a DOC) has been approved by Italy’s National Wine Commission: “I am particularly proud,” said Minister Luca Zaia, “to be able to announce that [Italy's National] Wine Commission has approved recognition of Amarone della Valpolicella as a DOCG [designation of controlled and guaranteed origin]. This is the highest recognition of quality allowed by [Italy's] national and [EU] Community law and this extraordinary Italian agricultural product deserves it without a doubt. Such recognition is also owed to the passion of Amarone producers, who, over the centuries, have helped to establish this product in the Veneto, in Italy, and the world.” (Translation by VinoWire.)

The best site so far is in Italian, Agraria, which has 41. Please do not write me and tell me that they have 43 because that is what you counted. They have Moscato d'Asti listed separately, but it falls within the Asti DOCG, OK? Also at the end they list Vin Santo. At this time it is not DOCG. They also do not have the three new DOCG's (that I know of) listed on their site(as of March 22, 2009).

Update 2: Luca Zaia has brought in another DOCG for Prosecco. Read about his accomplishments and achievements here. Thanks to Laura De Pasquale for the info. And thank you, Dr. Zaia!

I fear I am missing something, but for the life of me, the byzantine workings of the Italian government and the folks who determine which wines will be awarded DOCG status eludes this most ardent researcher. I guess I haven’t learned the secret handshake. Until then, we are at either 48, as of December 1, 2009, which have been given DOCG status. Here is the list, after the jump.

Complete Listing of Italian DOCG Wines (as of March 2010) :50

Abruzzo (1)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo "Colline Teramane"

Basilicata (1)
Aglianico del Vulture Superiore (new)

Campania (3)
Fiano di Avellino
Greco di Tufo

Emilia Romagna (1)
Albana di Romagna

Friuli-Venezia Giulia (2)
Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit

Lazio (1)
Cesanese del Piglio

Lombardia (5)
Oltrepo Pavese
Sforzato della Valtellina
Valtellina Superiore
Moscato di Scanzo (new)

Marche (4)
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona
Verdicchio di Matelicab Riserva (new)
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva (new)

Piemonte (12)
Asti spumante - Moscato d'Asti
Barbera d'Asti
Barbera del Monferrato Superiore
Barolo (Chinato, as well, falls under this DOCG)
Brachetto D'Acqui o Acqui
Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore o Dogliani
Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore
Gavi o Cortese di Gavi
Roero (Rosso & Bianco)

Sardegna (1)
Vermentino di Gallura

Sicilia (1)
Cerasuolo di Vittoria

Toscana (8)
Brunello di Montalcino
Chianti Classico
Elba Aleatico Passito (new)
Morellino di Scansano
Vernaccia di S.Gimignano
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Umbria (2)
Montefalco Sagrantino
Torgiano Rosso Riserva

Veneto (8)
Bardolino Superiore
Recioto di Gambellara
Recioto di Soave
Soave Superiore
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore (new)
Asolo Prosecco Superiore (new)
Amarone della Valpolicella 
Recioto della Valpolicella (new)


David said...

Thanks! A shelf talker's going on my Prosecco display first thing in the morning!

tom hyland said...


Thanks for the tireless research on this. Maybe you can list DOCG researcher as your occupation on your 1040 this year.

Seriously, if the DOCG system is a source of pride to the Italian viticultural system, why doesn't someone in Italy have a more complete list? Perhaps there's a system of confusion that's built in.

michelecolline said...

I think you(and Agraria)have it up to date though wines from the year the new DOCGs go into effect obviously aren't on the market yet. If I counted correctly, the Duemilavini 2010 lists 41(reviewable at press time I assume).

Fabio said...

Alfonso, I will ask to our fan page if our fans can find some other italian DOCG. BTW, great work your, better then italian websites which are traditionally very slow in updating their info

Michele Connors said...

Thanks for doing this research. I live in Florence and am getting certified as a sommelier at the AIS course. When covering the southern regions such as Puglia and Calabria, we were taught that some DOCs in the area (there are a ton down there) are "phantom" DOCs. Meaning local politicians promised to lobby to make certain regions DOCs in exchange for votes, but there is actually little relevant wine production at all in the area. Our teacher mentioned being in the area of Isola Capo Rizzuto in Calabria and asking at a restaurant for some of their local DOC wines - they didn't have any!

Unknown said...

What a well researched and comprehensive list. Thank you so much for sharing your work. One question: I had been given to understand that Oltrepò Pavese was only DOCG for Metodo Classico sparklers, do you know if that is indeed the case or if red wines from Sangue di Giuda and Buttafuoco have been added?

Alfonso Cevola said...

Thanks, Matt

Franciacorta and Oltrepo Pavese are DOCG in the metodo classico.

As far as I know Buttafuoco and Sangue di Giuda are not yet - but as with all things Italian, there may be a couple of "phantom DOCG's" that haven't yet appeared. I'll update as I find out.

FORK said...

Thanks for the research!

Cristian Pumero - Abogado Puente Alto
Abogados Puente Alto

Anonymous said...

Hey There,

to my count (I was doing my research on the DOC/DOCG for a Sommelier Lecture on Italian Wines tomorrow)
the DOCGs are 49 [including 2 diifferent DOCGs for ROERO white and red] but in your list there is an extra one: ELBA Aleatico. Passito... and that's funny!

Elba Aleatico Piassito made from Red Grapes was a DOCG in 2008 and according to the Italian Ministry and its communications on 4/08/2010 is now neither a DOC or a DOCG.

They lost it, apparently! Now there is only a ELBA Doc which seems to be omnicomprehensive.

Alessandro, New York

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