Opinion: new DOCGs trivialize and politicize the world of wine

VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani comments on the news that three new DOCGs in the Veneto have been approved by Italian authorities. (Alfonso Cevola has updated his list of DOCGs here.)

This umpteenth batch of new DOCGs is the result of efforts by the previous directors of the [agriculture] ministry, both of whom are Veneti by birth and by electoral process. And the Regione Veneto is the primary beneficiary: it places Friularo di Bagnoli and Colli di Conegliano on the same level as Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Taurasi, Franciacorta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Carmignano, Fiano d’Avellino… Observers of the world of wine can only be dismayed by this mechanism, which erases any differences, trivializes, and confers a mark of superior quality to wines that, even in the best of cases, are known solely in the zones where they are produced.

—Franco Ziliani

4 thoughts on “Opinion: new DOCGs trivialize and politicize the world of wine

  1. To be honest, I never really understood the need for having both DOC and DOCG designations. This unnecessarily complicates labeling for the consumer. DOCG is misleading to the uninformed consumer as it implies a higher quality product which is certainly not the case. They should all be DOC’s.

    If an area like Barolo decides on more stringent rules than an area like Roero for example, they will ultimately reap the benefits long term with a higher quality image of Barolo in the market. The key is not the designation DOC or DOCG but rather it is the name before the DOC/G that really counts.

    note: In my market, I don’t see whether a wine is DOC or DOCG having any impact at all on the 99% of consumers.

  2. Hi, Franco & Jeremy!

    You’re right about the trivialization of DOCGs. Mind you, we have the same in France with the AOCs. Anyway, coming back from Apulia and having tasting wonderful Primitivos and Aglianicos, I am in a good mood and would like to say: good people, don’t worry too much about the denominazione, the IGT or even table wine, it’s the content that matters,because when it’s good, very often, it shows the vintner’s dedication to his environment, traditions, etc, without sclerosis, of course. When I hear the word terroir, now, I take out my pistol, for the word is worn out after having been used so wrongly by mediocre producers who just takle advantage of their location.
    And there are so many of less known good producers who need us to help them to be discovered that I feel that we should spend less time complaining about bad regulations, bad DOCG’s, AOC, etc (even if we are right in doing so), and more time writing about individual producers of merit.

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