As of January 1, 2015, Italian wine producers may indicate on the labels of their bottles the name of the region or province where they make their wines. The decision was made on December 31, 2014 by the Italian Department of Agriculture.
This is big news. A non-Italian could reasonably ask what is so revolutionary about writing the truth, but here, in Italy, this is big news.
Here’s why: the Italian bureaucracy consented to be (a bit) less bureaucratic. It’s a rare event, because Italy is the land of bureaucracy.
Until December 31, Italian laws prevented winemakers from writing the name of the region of their wines if that name was applied to specific wine appellation (DOC, DOGC, or IGT).
For example, Barolo is a famous DOCG of the Piemonte region. But, since Piemonte is also the name of a DOC, Barolo producers couldn’t indicate that the wine came from Piemonte. They couldn’t indicate it on the labels of the bottles, on their websites, as part of advertisements, or anywhere else.
This was a big problem in terms of providing broad and complete information to the consumer. Hundreds of small winemakers belonging to the Italian Federation of Independent Vinegrowers, or FIVI, were prepared to willfully disobey the old law.
Matilde Poggi, FIVI’s president, on her website proudly indicated the name of her region – Veneto – before the name of the communes where the grapes of her Bardolino Le Fraghe come from. Until December 31 she could be fined for this. Now this is (finally) legal.
But pay attention: this is not as simple as it seems.
Italy is still the land of bureaucracy. Which means the Department of Agriculture determined how and where the name of the region can be written, and the maximum dimensions for the type it’s written in, and other bureaucratic rules.
But what really matters is that now Italian producers can indicate where their wines come from.
Isn’t it revolutionary?
Believe me. It is.