What is "DOC"?
DOC, or "DENOMINAZIONE DI ORIGINE CONTROLLATA", translates to "Designation of Origin", is a classification for Wines, specifically to constitute system of labelling and legally protecting Italian wine.
The Denominazione di origine controllata classification was created to be roughly equivalent to the French Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC). It requires that a wine satisfy a defined quality standard, and be produced within the specified region. Unlike IGT, the DOC definitions will usually specify additional more stringent rules regarding permitted grape varieties, harvest yields, minimum ageing including use of barrels, minimum alcohol content, and other factors. Wines labelled DOC or DOCG must be sold in bottles holding no more than 5 litres (170 US fl oz). Historically the DOC status has been used to classify other food products such as cheeses, olive oil and vinegar, but the Denominazione di origine protetta (DOP) is now used instead.
Since the 2008 EU reforms, both the DOC and DOCG wine classifications and the broader DOP classification are equivalent to the EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Despite this, most Italian wines still use the DOC or DOCG designations on the label.