An Exciting Project and Powerful Tool: Italy's DOCG Appellation Database

StefanoWe are pretty excited to share the news of a new wine project and powerful tool that we just rolled out on Flora’s Table: an overview of all of Italy’s 74 DOCG appellations (those that are at the top of the Italian appellation system pyramid) broken down by region.

More in detail:

  1. On the main page of our DOCG database you will find a map of Italy and its regions as well as a general explanation of the basics of the Italian appellation system; and
  2. Each regional page contains a map of such region and, for each DOCG appellation, a standardized summary of their main regulations and permitted grape varieties, most of which link to the corresponding entries in our Grape Variety Archive, which in turn illustrate the main facts and information about those varieties.

At the time of this post, the project is still a work in progress as a little more than 70% of Italy’s DOCG appellations (i.e., all those in Northern Italy plus Emilia Romagna and Toscana in Central Italy) are available live on the blog, but the project will be progressively completed in the next month or so.

UPDATE: Just a quick update to inform readers that, as of April 18, 100% of the DOCG appellations are in final form and therefore the project has been completed and is fully available.

The objectives of this project are those of:

  • Mapping the appellations that sit at the pinnacle of the Italian appellation system;
  • Spreading knowledge about a cross-section of some of the best that the Italian wine world has to offer; and
  • Highlighting the peculiarities of Italy’s different wine regions and permitted grape varieties.

This resource is accessible through the “Wine” drop-down menu of our blog, through the button on the sidebar or through this link.

I would appreciate it if you could take the time to take a look for yourself, tour your favorite Italian wine regions and see how you like it. Your feedback, comments or feature requests are always welcome.

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0 thoughts on “An Exciting Project and Powerful Tool: Italy's DOCG Appellation Database

  1. myhomefoodthatsamore

    Stefan … some of Italy’s greatest wines are … IGP ! it’s all about following rules and regulations. Principe Pallavicini wines, for instance, would be more than ‘organic’ by any standards of the EU but their own, private regulations are even more stringent … so they don’t bother calling some of their wiens ‘organic’ …

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you for your comment: I know that full well, trust me – I studied all appellations in depth during the sommelier certification course and I tasted my fair share of Italian wines both before and after that! 😉

      As you may have noticed from the DOCG page to which this post refers, and I quote:
      “Generally speaking, DOCG appellations are meant to highlight the pinnacle of Italian quality for wines made from specific grape varieties in specific, relatively small territories based on very strict regulations governing authorized grapes and territories, viticultural practices, oenological practices, minimum aging requirements, labeling and bottling of the wine. DOC appellations tend to have looser regulations and may cover larger territories, while IGT appellations have the loosest rules and generally cover vast territories and allow the use of several different grape varieties.
      From a practical standpoint, the above does not mean that all good Italian wines can only be found in DOCG appellations though. Most Supertuscans, for instance, are either IGT wines (like Tignanello) or DOC wines (like Sassicaia) because certain innovative winemakers decided to experiment with grape varieties that were not allowed by existing DOC or DOCG rues and therefore created outstanding wines by exploiting the flexibility afforded by the looser rules of IGT appellations.”

      As always, I think knowledge is essential. There are many outstanding Italian wines that are IGT (for instance, many of the Super Tuscans), many that are DOC’s (for instance, Sassicaia and Boca or several Trento DOC’s) and many that are DOCG’s (like many Barolo’s, Barbaresco’s, Valtellina Superiore’s, Amarone’s, Brunello’s, Sagrantino’s, Taurasi’s, just to name a few). One cannot discriminate based on which appellation a wine belongs to 😉

      A good example is Principe Pallavicini, which I am glad to hear that you appreciate: they make very good IGT wines (like their Stillato), DOC wines (like their Roma Malvasia Puntinata DOC) and DOCG wines (like their Frascati Superiore Poggio Verde DOCG).

      Enjoy and keep drinking good wines! 🙂

  2. StefanGourmet

    Well done Stefano, it is nice to have all the DOCGs together.
    The only feedback I have as of now is that all the links open in new windows by default, which is not what I would prefer (but that may be a personal preference).
    It is nice that recently a lot of wines were upgraded from DOC to DOCG, because before it didn’t make sense for instance that Amarone was only DOC.

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Stefan – also for your valuable feedback. I designed the main “Italy” page like that thinking that it would be helpful for readers not to have to go back and forth between that page and the various regional pages, but now that I read your comments I am not sure it was such a good idea after all! So thank you for pointing that out – I will think about it but may change the settings such that regional pages will no longer open as a separate page. Also, more in general, glad you liked the project and found it helpful. Agreed on the point of at least certain of the recent upgrades. Thanks again! 🙂

  3. Gather and Graze

    This is incredible Stefano! Well done for creating such a comprehensive body of work. I look forward to referring to this in future to gain more knowledge about Italian wines and also when out purchasing them!

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Michelle: I am glad you liked the idea and the project – it took quite some time to put it all together, but I think it is a helpful reference point to those who are interested in digging deeper in the world of Italian wine 😉 I am very glad to hear that you are enjoying that journey yourself! 🙂
      Take care

  4. Stefano Post author

    Reblogged this on Clicks & Corks and commented:

    Check out a cool new project that just launched over at Flora’s Table: a database summarizing the main regulations of all of Italy’s top DOCG appellations broken down by region plus an explanation of the basics of the Italian appellation system!
    Go take a look for yourself! 🙂