Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nizza: The Long Tail of Italy’s 74th DOCG and the Waiting Game

It seems ridiculous to still be in limbo over this proposed 74th Italian wine DOCG, held hostage by the governing EU body, waiting, for their final approval. It isn’t as if they have more important things to worry about. Why don’t they just stamp the document and let the winemakers of Nizza get on with their lives? What exactly is holding them up in Brussels? It’s a scandal, this waiting game; let’s just get on with it.

Ah yes, our little insular world of wine, where the whole world waits on our next proclamation, revelation, inspiration. We got the world through another Thanksgiving holiday, matching wine for their turkey, ham and pumpkin pie just in time. Again. So why doesn’t the world give us what we want? What we need? We need this 74th DOCG; we really, really need it.

If I were running the EU board in Brussels, I’d take a moment and write the patient producers of Nizza this courtesy note:

Dear Nizza Producers,

Thank you for your patience. We here at EU headquarters have been in a bit of a backlog in these last few months, what with all the virtual paperwork piling up on our virtual desks. It isn’t that we aren’t mindful of your plight; it’s just that a few other things in the world have come up as of late. We are working as fast and as hard as we can to process your request in the hours before our curfew restricts us from working any further in the day.

Some of us have taken to staying in the headquarters as public transportation is sporadic and there appears to be something like martial law outside our building. As well, we seem be to under some kind of siege, what with armed military personnel guarding the building we are in. But yes, we will process your country’s request as soon as we can.

In the meantime, we’d like you to continue to make wine as if you were making it for the DOCG discipline. We realize you are very proud of your wine and your special appellation which tends to have a particular regionality that is singularly defined by wines as you make them. We realize this is a special kind of wine and in these times that is very important to you and your economy. The reality is there are many other things waiting in the queue in Brussels. We hope to have your approval online as soon as we are able to get up and running here in Brussels again, on a full time basis.

If you would be so kind as to continue to maintain your most patient approach we would be most appreciative here at EU headquarters in Brussels. We realize this might affect your income and your status in the world of wine, and we are most apologetic for this inconvenience. We do hope you understand that we are mindful of this concession you are making in our tardiness to approve. We are working as fast as we can to get you this resolution.

Most Sincerely,

Dr. Ignazio Abad Dubois
Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins

♫ So tired, tired of waiting for you ♫
Nizza is and will be a niche market wine. Whether or not the official recognition by the EU’s Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins will change the fortunes of the producers is a matter, at this time, of wait and see. The producers seem to think this is important. But in the long run, have the fortunes of one of the first DOCG’s, Romagna Albana, improved, since they were elevated to DOCG status in 1987?

In reality, Nizza DOCG is already a done deal, as producers are preparing to apply to DOCG stickers to approved wines later next year. So is it merely a formality that the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins will be applying when they finally sign off from EU headquarters in Brussels? Perhaps.

And maybe, for the sake of initiating discourse, just maybe this is an exercise and only that. Will the wines undergo some structural change from a winemaking point of view? Will the wines all of a sudden be more desirable? Will they fetch a higher price? Will sommeliers in San Francisco, Chicago, Houston or New York be demanding to have more Nizza wines presented to them for their wine lists and their by-the-glass programs? I guess we’ll have to see. As soon as the EU works their way through the docket of things they have to get to.

In the meantime, producers of Nizza: We hear you, we thank you for your patience and understanding and we are working to get you what you want as soon as we get, along with a few other pressing issues here on the world stage.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


  1. I have 2 words in response:
    Italians. Paperwork.
    Do the math.

    (Great article, by the way.)

  2. Please tell me what is the name of the first girl with the gun or where you found her picture? I'm in love!

  3. Please tell me the name of the first girl with a gun or where you found her picture? I'm in love!


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