Italian Wine Region Designations

Italy’s wine region are defined by certain government designations. These designations are based upon the growing and production requirements in that particular area. The idea is that more rigid requirements will produce a higher quality of wines.

Italy has 4 appellation designations that are broken down into 2 categories:

The first category is Vini da tavola(table wines).

Under this category are the subcategories:

1) Vino da tavola (VDT), table wines or wines without any specific geographic origin.

2) Vino da tavola con indicazione geografica tipica (IGT), which are table wines with a typical geographical indication.

The second category is Vini di qualità prodotti in regione determinata (VQPRD)(quality wines produced in a determined region). These are designations created by the European Union (EU) countries.


Under this category are the subcategories:


1) Vino a denominazione di origine controllata (DOC)(controlled denomination of origin).

2) Vino a denominazione di origine controllata e garantita (DOCG)( controlled and guaranteed denomination of origin).

The major grapes in Italy are: for reds- Nebbiolo and Sangiovese; for whites- Pinot Grigio and Trebbiano. Most Italian wines, esp. reds, are labeled by region, and not by grape.

For Reds, Sangiovese is the main grape in the region of Chianti (in Tuscany), thus – juicy, bright reds with perfect-for-food acidity. While regular Chianti is a great go-to for a bargain, the following usually has slightly more body than regular Chianti:

Chianti Classico (aged for a year before being sold)

Chianti Riserva (aged for 2 years)

Sangiovese is well known  in Montalcino, where the heat and soil do contribute to richer, deeper wines with more ripe fruit flavor than you will find in Chianti. The two major wines of Montalcino are:

Rosso di Montalcino (lower-priced)

Brunello di Montalcino (high-priced)

For Whites, Pinot Grigio is a great aperitif or party wine. Northern Italian Pinot Grigios benefit from cool climate and mountain breeze. The regions of Alto Adige and Friuli bring out refreshing and robust flavor. Pinot Bianco is related to Pinot Grigio, but is richer, with less fruit flavors.

Trebbiano is most often in blends . It is grown all over Italia and is very important for many Italian white blends.


We will keep sharing more about Italian Wine  this week so we invite you to follow us tomorrow and to visit us at La Piccola Fontana inside the San Juan Hotel & Casino to enjoy Italia’s finest wines.