Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.
Italian wine labels
Montepulciano in Tuscany is home to the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG.

Ever wondered what the letters on Italian wine labels mean?

The post Italian wine labels: Understanding DOCG, DOC & IGT appeared first on Decanter.


Italian wine labels
Montepulciano in Tuscany is home to the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG.

Ever wondered what the letters on Italian wine labels mean?

The post Italian wine labels: Understanding DOCG, DOC & IGT appeared first on Decanter.

Italian wine labels
Montepulciano in Tuscany is home to the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG.

You may have seen the letters DOCG or IGT on Italian wine labels. They are part of the Italian wine classification system, which shares similarities with the French AOC appellation system.

Since its launch in the early 1960s, Italy’s system has undergone several key updates and refinements. The modern-day hierarchy has four tiers:

  • DOCG
  • DOC
  • IGT
  • VdT

While this is intended to provide a guide to quality, there are exceptions. Some Italian wineries opt out of DOC and DOCG rules, for instance, often to pursue different winemaking techniques or use particular grape varieties.

DOCG

What it stands for: ‘Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita’

DOCG is the highest tier of the Italian wine classification system.

It has the most stringent quality controls in place, with all wines undergoing analysis and testing by a government-approved panel.

In addition, yields are generally lower and barrel-ageing is longer than for a DOC. The geographical limits are usually more restrictive and tightly defined, too.

The first few DOCGs were introduced in 1980, and today there are still relatively few; just 77 across Italy.

Examples: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; Barolo DOCG; Chianti DOCG; Franciacorta DOCG.

DOC

What it stands for: ‘Denominazione di Origine Controllata’

DOCs provide the meat of quality Italian wine. They still provide strict rules on winemaking and are based on geographical areas, but the regulations are slightly more relaxed versus DOCGs. There are currently more than 330 DOCs in Italy.

Examples: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC; Aglianico del Vulture DOC; Bolgheri DOC; Soave DOC.

IGT

What it stands for: ‘Indicazione Geografica Tipica’

Created in 1992, IGTs were intended to provide a tier above the basic Vino da Tavola (VdT) for quality wines that didn’t meet the regulations for DOC or DOCG. So-called Super Tuscan wines are a prime example.

Today, the IGT classification is home to wines made in a more ‘international’ style, eschewing some of the traditional winemaking methods and grape variety stipulations set down by DOCs and DOCG regulations.

A wide range of quality and prices is represented, and there are currently more than 120 IGTs in Italy.

Examples: Toscana IGT; Veneto IGT; Puglia IGT; Isola dei Nuraghi IGT.


You might also like:

Barolo vs Brunello vs Barbaresco: What’s the difference? 

Top Super Tuscan wines

Amazon della Valpolicella 2016: First look (For Premium subscribers)


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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Laurel Gray Vineyards

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