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Definition: Denominazione di Origine Controllata

[deh-NAW-mee-nah-TSYAW-neh dee oh-REE-jee-neh con-traw-LAH-tah] Established in 1963 and implemented in 1966, the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) ("Controlled Denomination of Origin") is Italy's system for ensuring quality wines, equivalent to France's appellation d'origine contrôlée. DOCs are defined by the geographic area of production for each wine, the varieties that can be used, the minimum alcohol content, the maximum yield and the specifications for aging. In 1990, tasting commissions introduced standards for appearance, color, bouquet, and flavor. In addition, chemical analysis is performed to determine levels of alcohol, acidity and residual sugar. As with the systems implemented in France, Spain, and other countries, the DOC system doesn't guarantee quality, but it does nudge a majority of the wines in that direction. There are now over 320 DOC zones, including a small group belonging to a new, more elite level called Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.

Source: Answers.com; Wine Lover's Companion - R & S Herbst

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Are all wines meant to be aged? No. In fact, perhaps 90% of today's wines are vinified for consumption within 2 years of the vintage.

Source: All About Wine Calendar - Richard Nidel

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