Let Me Tell Where I Made My Wine. Please.


Hundreds of small Italian wine producers area ready to disobey to the law.

They are not becoming criminals. They just want to be free to write the name of their region or province on the labels of their wines.

Seems reasonable enough. But not for the Italian law.

From a geographical and administrative point of view, Italy is divided into twenty regions, and regions are divided into several provinces. Some Italian regions and provinces are very famous among wine lovers.

Piemonte (Piedmont), for example, is the land of Barolo, and Toscana (Tuscany) is the region where Brunello di Montalcino is produced. Amarone comes from Valpolicella, in the province of Verona.

Everything clear?

It should be.

Except Italy is the country of bureaucracy.

According to the Italian laws, a producer of Barolo can’t write on his labels that his wine comes from Piemonte. Neither can a producer of Brunello write that his wine is made in Toscana. And a producer of Amarone cannot say that Valpolicella is in the province of Verona.

Why not?

Piemonte, Toscana and Verona are IGTs, or typical geographical indications. According to Italian law (and European regulations), a wine cannot indicate the name of an IGT on its label if the wine belongs to a different appellation.
The “different appellations” – or DOCGs – that these wines belong to are Barolo, Brunello and Amarone.

In other words, “Barolo” trumps Piemonte, “Brunello” trumps Toscana, and “Amarone” does the same with “Verona”. So, if a producer of Barolo writes that his wine is made in Piemonte, he will be fined. Being fined because you tell the truth is absurd. But not in Italy, as you can see.

FIVI, the Italian Federation of Independent Vinegrowers, is trying to convince the Italian Parliament to change the rules.
The Federation leaders say that their 800 affiliates are ready to disobey to the law by writing the name of their region or province, even when they correspond to an IGT.

According to FIVI, it’s a matter of transparency for the benefit of consumers. Their opinion seems reasonable.

But maybe not in the land of bureaucracy.