Now Cork & Flame

Italian Weekend Tasting-Jan. 17-18

Last week we visited Spain; this week it will be Italy! Friday, Jan. 17 from 4:30-6:30pm and Saturday, Jan. 18. from 2 to 6pm. There are 20 wine regions in Italy and they correspond to Italy’s 20 political regions. Wine grape growing takes place throughout the entire country. With Italy’s long north-south peninsula, each Italian wine region benefits from the micro-climates assisted by the exposure to the seas. Italy has a wide range of altitudes and a variety of soil conditions as well.

Italy’s wine region are defined by certain government designations. These designations are based upon the growing and production requirements in that area. The idea is that more rigid requirements will produce higher quality wines. However, this is not always the case.

Italy has 4 appellation designations broken down into 2 categories. The 1st category is Vini da tavola, loosely translated as “table wines”.

Under this category are the 2 subcategories of:

1. Vino da tavola or VDT, table wines or wines without any specific geographic origin. Contrary to what this label would imply, VDTs are not necessarily wines of lesser quality than the other designations. They may just be wines that do not follow current Italian wine law.

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

The 2nd category is Vini di qualità prodotti in regione determinata or VQPRD, loosely translated as “quality wines produces in a determined region”. These are designations created by the European Union or EU countries.

Under this category are the subcategories of:

1. Vino a denominazione di origine controllata or DOC, translated as controlled denomination of origin.

2. Vino a denominazione di origine controllata e garantita or DOCG, translated as controlled and guaranteed denomination of origin.

Here is a bit more clarification.

Wines grown in DOC regions must meet strict standards pertaining to production areas, grape varietals grown, grape yield per acre, alcohol content, and other specific growing, aging, and fermenting requirements.

There are over 300 DOCs in Italy.

Wines grown in DOCG regions have the same strict set of guidelines as DOCs. In addition, they must undergo and pass a taste test and a chemical analysis.

In Italy, there are just over 30 DOCGs, most of them in Piemonte or Piedmont and Tuscano or Tuscany.

Some DOCGs you may be familiar with are Barbaresco, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, and Chianti Classico.

Next in line, the IGT designated wines have fewer requirements. IGT wines also have to meet geographic and grape varietals requirements, but the standards are less rigid for this designation.

There are close to 125 IGT areas in Italy.

The least strict designation is VDT or table wine. VDT wines can be produced without adhering to any specific rules.

Here will be our wines to present:

Zenato Pinot Grigio: 87 Points and Best Buy by Wine Enthusiast
Viette Arneis: 90 Points!
Cetamura Chianti: 90 Points!
Cusumano Nero d’Alvoa: 90 Points!
Zenato Rippassa: 92 Points!
Vietti Nebbiolo: 91 Points!
High points on these wines! Bring a friend and enjoy!