What is a GI, or Geographical Indication?
A GI is a legally delimited vineyard area.
GIs are delimited because grapes that come from particular GIs express distinctive characteristics unique to that area.
GIs can be large, like Washington State, or they can be small, like a particular appellation, sub-appellation, or even a single vineyard.
GIs on wines that come from outside the EU (U.S., Australia, Chile, etc.) indicate what about the wine?
That the grapes used to make that wine come from that particular GI -- that's it.
Winemakers outside the EU have greater freedom to plant what they want and to make styles that they want.
Most GIs outside the EU do not dictate what grapes the farmer can grow, what the yield must be, or what the minimum alcohol must be.
GIs on wines that come from inside the EU indicate what about the wine?
A GI on a bottle of wine that comes from within the EU indicates:
- The grapes came from that particular GI
- The winemaker had to follow strict regulations in order to use that GI, including:
- grapes used
- how the wine was made
GIs in the EU are divided into 2 classifications:
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)
PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)
How do PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indications) standards differ within the European Union?
As a broad generalization:
PDOs are smaller, more defined areas with more restrictions placed on their production methods.
PGIs are larger areas with more freedom in terms of what winemaking practices can be employed within their boundaries.
In sum, PGIs provide more flexibility for winemakers who want to try out different grape varieties not permitted in the PDO, and make them into styles not necessarily permitted within the stricter PDO.
What are the PDO terms used in France?
- AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée)
- AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlée)
Hint: you can always tell what the AOC/AOP is on a bottle of French wine by looking at the word(s) that fall between "Appellation" and "Contrôlée".
What are the PGI terms used in France?
- IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée)
- VdP (Vin de Pays)
What are the PDO terms used in Italy?
- DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllatta)
- DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllatta e Garantita)
What is the PGI term used in Italy?
- IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica)
Discuss Classico and Riserva as defined by Italian wine law.
Classico wines are the wines that have been made solely from a historically classified wine region.
Riserva wines are a category that carry a specified extended aging regimen, sometimes in oak or bottle (or both), and are usually higher in alcohol.
What are the PDO terms used in Spain?
- DO (Denominación de Origen)
- DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada)
What is the PGI term used in Spain?
- Vino de la Tierra
What are the PDO terms used in Germany?
What is the PGI term used in Germany?
Identify key terms on this French wine label (flip card to see answers):
Identify key terms on this German wine label (flip card to see answers):
Identify key terms on this Italian wine label (flip card to see answers):
Identify key terms on this Spanish wine label (flip card to see answers):