Italian wine labels, just like those from France and Spain, are required by law to show certain 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 (DOCG remained dormant until 1982), and the IGT category followed in the early 1990s.
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:
This useful but unofficial term emerged in the 1970s, to describe a particular set of high-quality Tuscan wines which were precluded from claiming DOC or DOCG status because they broke traditional Italian winemaking norms (foreign grape varieties were used, and the wines were often matured in small, new oak barrels). Several of these wines earned global recognition and astronomical price tags - hence 'Super Tuscan'. Originally these wines had to be labeled as?Vino da Tavola?because they contravened the stringent, tradition-focused DOC laws. This situation ultimately led to the creation of the IGT category, with its relatively relaxed production rules.