As Italy gathers in the region of the Veneto for the wine industry’s annual trade fairs, President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano has signed historic legislation overhauling Italy’s wine appellation system, its regulation, and monitoring.
The so-called “riforma 164” (or amendments to law 164) brings Italy’s appellation system into line with European Union Common Market Organisation reforms and streamlines the application and amendment processes, shifting more control and monitoring responsibilities to local and regional authorities. It also provides the framework for the continued presence of the so-called “DOCG/DOC/IGT pyramid” within the EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) system.
No major reforms had been made to the Italian appellation system since 1992 when law 164 was approved by Italian legislators in 1992.
The amendments were published (in Italian) on the internet yesterday by the Association of Italian Enologists and Enotechnicians here.
Most have hailed the new legislation as a positive step toward promoting quality, deterring “agropiracy,” enhancing competitiveness, and streamlining bureaucracy. But the relationship between the Italian DOCG/DOC/IGT pyramid and the EU PDO/PGI system has yet to be determined.
Tomorrow, President Napolitano is expected to visit Italy’s largest wine trade fair, Vinitaly in Verona, which was inaugurated today by current agriculture minister and newly elected governor of the Veneto Luca Zaia.