Maremma DOC rules!

page created Dec 2009, revised 7/17

The Italian quality wine rules are everything you might expect – complex, a bit bureaucratic and constantly changing.  The basic quality pyramid is:

  • vino (used to be vino da tavola): basic table wine, must be made from grapes, that’s about it
  • indicazione geografica tipica/protetta– IGT/IGP: specifies the grapes you can use and a broad geographical region they must come from
  • denominazione di origine controllata – DOC: equivalent to the French AC, strict rules limiting the areas of production and the grape varieties allowed, minimum alcohol levels, and how long wines must be aged before they can be released
  • denominazione di origine controllata e garantita – DOCG: a sort of super-DOC, the DOCG is restricted to better areas; wines are tasted to check that they conform to the expected general characteristics

The new EU rules which came into force for the 2009 vintage are now beginning to be established and recognised.  In addition to the established DOC/DOCGs, the idea is to have larger, clearer, regional DOPs (denominazione di origine protetta) or IGPs (indicazione di origine protetta) to create a clearer system.  Producers can continue to use the old DOC/DOCG or IGT designations if they wish to or the new ones.  


Maremma DOCs and DOCGs

Note: since I started this list Italian Wine Centre has provided a fuller, more detailed list here, including the IGP/IGTs.  Here is a summary of the Maremman DOC(G)s.  Where there is a Rosso, assume there is also a Rosato allowed.  

Rosso (min. 40% Sangiovese, max. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot)*These are alternative names for the same wine

Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario DOC minimum 85% Ansonica; tiny 9ha DOC
Bianco di Pitigliano DOC

Minimum 40% Trebbiano Toscano, max. 60% other approved varieties; Greco, Malvasia bianca toscana e Verdello, individually or together not more than 20%; Grechetto, Chardonnay, Sauvignon (bianco), Pinot bianco e Riesling italico (bianco), individually not more than 15%, together not more than 30%.
Other authorised white grapes, upto 10%.

Bolgheri Bianco DOC

Trebbiano toscano: from 10 to 70%;
Vermentino: from 10 to 70%;
Sauvignon: from 10 to 70%.

Also Bolgheri Vermentino DOC – min. 85% Vermentino and Bolgheri Sauvignon Blanc (min. 85%) 

Bolgheri Rosso DOC Any proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and/or Merlot. Maximum 50% Sangiovese or Syrah
Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC Cabernet Sauvignon at least 80%
Capalbio DOC minute DOC with a range of Bianco (min. 50% Trebbiano), Rosso (min. 50% Sangiovese) and single varietal wines 
Elba DOC Island DOC for dry Rosso (min. 60% Sangiovese), Bianco (10–70% Trebbiano Toscano (locally called Procanico); 10–70% Ansonica and/or Vermentino) and varietal wines 
Aleatico Passito dell’Elba DOCG Sweet red wine made from Aleatico variety
Maremma Toscana DOC Quantitively (and more) important new DOC of 2011 with Bianco (min.40% Trebbiano and/or Vermentino) and Rosso (min. 40% Sangiovese) and multiple varietal wines, sparkling, late harvest, Vin Santo. Read more  Rules will change again for 2017 harvest.  
Morellino di Scansano DOCG Min. 85% Sangiovese
min. 12,50% alcohol, for the Riserva 13,00%
For ‘riserva’, the wines must be aged for at least 2 years, one of which must be in wood barrels
Montecucco DOC Rosso: min. 60% Sangiovese. Bianco: min.  40% Trebbiano Toscano and/or Vermentino; Montecucco Vermentino 85% of the variety
Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG

Min. 90% Sangiovese; min. 13% alcohol, 13.5% for riserva 

Monteregio di Massa Marittima o Rosso: Sangiovese, at least 50%; up to 10% of other authorised grape varieties (each).  For ‘rosso’ a minimum of 11.5% alcohol, for riserva 12%. Bianco (Trebbiano toscano, minimum of 50%;Vermentino, Malvasia bianca, Malvasia bianca di Candia e Ansonica, each or together not more than 30%). Varietal DOCs for Vermentino, Viognier, Sangiovese and Syrah
Montescudaio DOC Bianco (min. 50% Trebbiano Toscano), Rosso (min. 50% Sangiovese), plus varietal wines for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese.  
Parrina DOC Rosso (Sangiovese: at least 70%), Bianco: (30–50% Ansonica; 20–40% Vermentino; 10–30% Trebbiano Toscano; max. 20% Chardonnay and/or Sauvignon Blanc). Varietal wines for Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Vermentino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Sangiovese
Sovana DOC Rosso (min. 50% Sangiovese), varietal wines for Aleatico, Ciliegiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese
Suvereto DOCG Rosso (85% Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot). Varietal wines for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese
Terratico di Bibbona Bianco (min. 50% Vermentino). Rosso (min. 35% Merlot and min. 35% Sangiovese. Varietal wines for Vermentino and Trebbiano; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese. Large area between Montescudaio and Pisa but only 10 ha.  
Val di Cornia DOC 

Bianco (min. 50% Vermentino; up to 50% Ansonica, Malvasia Bianca Lunga, Trebbiano Toscano, and/or Viognier). Varietals wines for Ansonica and Vermentino. Varietal  wines for Cabernet Sauvignon, Ciliegiolo, Merlot, Sangiovese

Val di Cornia Rosso or Rosso di Val di Cornia DOCG*

Rosso (min. 40% Sangiovese, max. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot)

*These are alternative names for the same wine

Resource The DOCGs can be seen here (in Italian). For the DOCs and DOCGs see here (Italian).
Other selected TUSCAN DOCs and DOCGs
Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese at least 80%, other authorised black grapes (either local or ‘international’), up to 20%
From 2006 on, white grapes no longer allowed, as in the past.  Riserva: 24 months of ageing  Gran Selezione: must be own fruit; 30 months of ageing
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Sangiovese (here called Prugnolo gentile): minimum 70%. Cannaiolo nero upto 20%.
Other black grapes up to 20%, white grapes up to 10%.  Minimum of 2 years ageing
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 100% Sangiovese (here called Brunello).  Minimum of 2 years of oak ageing.  Released on sale 5 years after the harvest, 6 years for the Riserva  
Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG At least 85% Vernaccia di SG (said to be unrelated to all the other Vernaccia); 10.5% or 11% for riserva which also must be aged for 14 months before release (of which three in the bottle)  
other Chianti subzones, eg Rufina  70-100% Sangiovese, up to 10% white grapes allowed, not more than a total of 15% Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon  

Next: explore more – books, websites, wine merchants

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Responses to “The rules!”

Leave a Reply