The Top 5 appellations most-awarded by the Guides
Even if a good winemaker puts hard work and his heart and soul into making a wine, a lot is still down to the territory. Italy’s winemaking is divided up and classified into 333 DOCs, 74 DOCGs and 118 IGTs. We have calculated which ones appear many times in Civiltà del bere’s Best of the Wine Guides 2017, a reasoned comparison of the most-awarded wines according to the main Italian wine guides.
More and more PDO wines are being produced
According to AGEA sources reported by FederDOC, in 2015 national production reached 49,245,300 hectolitres, 36.87% of which (equal to 18,154,655 hectolitres) comes under DOC and DOCG, 28.78% (14,174,831 hectolitres) is IGT, while the remaining 34.35% (16,915,814 hectolitres) is unclassified and varietal wine. The statistics from FederDOC show a pie divided into three almost equal parts, with a slight but significant predominance of DOC and DOCG wines, which increased from 31% to over 36% just between 2014 and 2016.
The DOC wine classification
1st place: Barolo DOCG
In first place the undisputed “King of wines, wine of Kings”: Barolo, with 181 wines awarded ratings of excellence. The most-awarded ones are names known to many by now, in order: Bussia, Cannubi and Brunate. Bussia is one of the most extensive DOCs and includes some of the main wineries between the municipalities of Monforte d’Alba and Barolo. Cannubi is one of the most famous crus, divided up into very small plots. Lastly Brunate, divided between La Morra and Barolo, all facing south and southeast at different altitudes, thus offering great quality, but different interpretations.
2nd place: Alto Adige DOC
In second place (with 114 wines), it may be less expected, but it clearly underlines the importance of a DOC that covers the whole of the Alto Adige area, from the smallest farm to the cooperative wineries. The Alto Adige DOC makes up about a quarter of regional production, including 20 vine varieties and 6 prestigious subzones (from Val Venosta and Valle Isarco to the Bolzano basin, the South Tyrolean Unterland, through Merano and Santa Maddalena). Quality is achieved with low yields, manual work, protection of the environment, constant research and an awareness that every grape variety corresponds to a specific terroir.
3rd place: Toscana IGT
Tuscany is on the podium with 112 wines, thanks to an IGT that includes well-known wines and covers the whole regional area. Mainly Super Tuscans. Toscana IGT wines are made by wineries ahead of the times and trends, and who are considered leaders of new trends and areas today. The IGT leaves room for the producer’s creativity, which can take full advantage of the versatility of the territory and its grape varieties.
4th place: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
With 74 wines receiving awards, the King of Tuscan wines is in fourth place. Depending on the vintage, Brunello di Montalcino can be considered one of Italy’s longest-lived wines. Its thousands of different facets come from the incredible biodiversity of one of the largest municipalities in Italy. In addition, Brunello must wait 5 years from the vintage (6 for the Riserva) before it is ready to drink.
5th place: Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
DOCG since 2010 (but DOC since far-off 1968), Amarone has a unique style. Although it must undergo at least 2 years of ageing, which become 4 years for the Riserva, there are many producers who choose to release their wines onto the market much later. It is a wine that enhances the potential of the terroir, between a more traditional and a modern style, both meeting the taste of the critics and public. A well-deserved 5th place for the appellation with 64 award-winning wines.
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