We will start at the base of the pyramid, from the Indicazione geografica tipica (Typical Geographical Indication) the Igt designation. It indicates wines produced in generally large areas, but with specific quality and origin requirements. However, more than the base of the pyramid, we are actually referring to a halfway house: Igt wines are a step above the basic wines that are produced with at least 85 percent of grapes belonging to the variety indicated on the label. Lower level table wines, they are often seen on our grandparents’ tables and they are not subjected to any specific production regulations.
The Igt is therefore the first quality designation that we encounter on our way up to excellence, although it must be immediately clear that Docg wines are no better than Igt ones, although the quality is, to some extent. The purpose of these designations is not to indicate quality, but the production area, geographical diversity, variety of origin and specific area. The Igt area is broader and it can often refer to a wine deliberately kept out of the Doc or Docg legal designation by its producer. The specifications of these categories, as we shall see, are very strict, sometimes too much so, while sometimes they are dismissed by the wineries, who prefer to produce larger quantities of wine without compromising on the quality.
Igt states, first of all (and obviously), the geographical indication of origin, starting from the entire region to nonetheless, quite large subzones (Tuscany and Colli Della Toscana Centrale, for example). It can relate to a large production area, together with the grapes, which are planted and grown there. Moreover, compulsory are: the definition of this geographic area, the list of vine varieties approved, the maximum yield of grapes per hectare, the alcoholic strength of the grapes by volume, the alcohol content of the wine, the approved corrective practices (for instance, the substances added to the product to preserve or adjust the wine taste). To be in the Igt category, a wine must be produced from 85 percent grapes of certified specification.
Since 2010, as we have pointed out in another article about labels, the Igt category has been attributed to the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) without nonetheless, losing its qualitative and territorial specifications. Examples of the category are some of the finest wines on the market today, from those from Maremma Toscana and Sannio Falanghina, to the territory of Valcamonica in Lombardy and the Sicilian Scilla wines.