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Glossary

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Appellation

Appellation refers to the name of a precise geographic region that is the source of the grapes in fine wine and a guarantee of quality and authenticity in food. Restrictions other than geographical boundaries, such as what grapes may be grown, maximum grape yields, alcohol level, aging and other quality factors, may also apply before an appellation name may legally appear on a wine bottle label.
The rules that govern appellations are dependent on the country in which the wine was produced. There are 3 categories of appellations distinguished by Italian wine law: IGT, DOC and DOCG. One more category is VDT (Vino da Tavola) cannot be associated with appellation’s definition as it is for table wine that cannot carry the name of specific wine-making region, neither a varietal name nor a vintage date.

DOC

Denominazione di Origine Controllata is a type of wine appellation used in Italy regulating wine’s origin as well as methods of grape cultivation and vinification. Can be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin. For more details look here.

DOCG

Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita is a type of Italian wine appellation, which regulates wine’s origin and grape’s cultivation/vinification even in more stricter way than DOC. DOCG or Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin is at top of Italy’s wine law classification. Please read more here

IGT

Indicazione Geografica Tipica (Typical Geographic Indication) is a type of wine appellation, which has been established to upgrade (at least in terms of wine law) huge portion of Italian wine from table wine level to a higher recognized typology similar to the French Vin du Pays. Read more here

Passito

Passito is a sweet wine made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juice. The method of production is called rasinate (to dry and shrivel). The modern Italian name passito echoes ancient word Passum – a name for raisin wine coming from ancient Carthage. The classic method dries clusters of grapes on mats of straw in the sun, but some regions dry them under cover, some hang up the grapes, and the straw may be replaced by modern racks. The most known varieties of passito today are The Moscato Passito di Pantelleria (which is made form ancient grape Zibibbo, and perhaps is the most closest to Passum), Vin Santo in Tuscany, Recioto and Amarone around Verona, and Sciacchetrà from the Ligurian Cinque Terre in a few kilometers from Tuscan border.

Super Tuscan

The term "Super Tuscan" describes any Tuscan red wine that does not adhere to traditional blending laws for the region. For example, Chianti Classico wines are made from a blend of grapes with Sangiovese as the dominant varietal in the blend. Thereofore wine made in Chianti with a dominant use of other grapes, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, is becoming ineligible for Chianti DOCG classification.
In 1968 winery San Felice produced the first ever Super Tuscan called Vigorello and Incisa della Rocchetta’s Sassicaia arrived several years after. In 1970s Piero Antinori, whose family had been making wine for centuries, also decided to make a richer wine by taking the white grapes out from the Chianti blend, adding instead Bordeaux varietals. He was inspired by at that time almost unknown Cabernet blend made on the coast of Tuscany by his relative Incisa della Rocchetta, which openly flouted the rules set for traditional Tuscan wines. The result was another Super Tuscan, which he named Tignanello. Other winemakers started to experiment with Super Tuscan blends of their own shortly thereafter.
Because these wines did not conform to strict DOC/DOCG classifications, they were initially labeled as vino da tavola, a term ordinarily reserved for lower quality wines. After many years most of them been given IGT classification and some of them DOC, like for example, Sassicaia.

Terroir

A terroir is a French word for complex of conditions like climate, soil type and topographic characteristics belonging to a specific wine-making appellation, which all contribute to the quality of the crop, and eventually give its particular personality to the wine.
It can be very loosely translated as "a sense of place," which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the production of the wine. The concept of terroir is at the base of the French wine Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system that has been the model for appellation and wine laws across the globe as well as in Italy. At its core is the assumption that the land from which the grapes are grown imparts a unique quality that is specific to that region.

Varietal wine

Or sometimes called mono-varietal are wines made primarily from a single grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label.

Vino da Tavola

Vino da tavola or table wine refers to wines without appellations or ordinary wines. In reality “table wine“ definition applies not just to cheap and simple product, but also to something which couldn’t “fit” the other types of appellations due to use of unusual grapes or particular vinification techniques. Read more here.

Vin Santo

Please look Passito

   
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