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DOC wine

14 de April, 2021

DOC and DOP are abbreviations that you may be used to seeing on various types of products, including wines. DOC means Denomination of Controlled Origin and PDO means Denomination of Protected Origin. In wine, they can be used equally, since they have the same rules. It is just a matter of nomenclature.

Today I am interested in focusing on DOC wines. The DOC denomination has something special for us, Portuguese, for being in the origin of DOC's. It is historically proven that in 1756 Marquês de Pombal created the first delimited wine region in the world by placing 335 stone markers that protected the producers of Port wine grapes of the existing forgeries of that time. 


What is DOC wine?

But after all, what is DOC wine? Basically, it is a way to protect wine from falsification, that is, to protect it from copies that try to recreate what is impossible to recreate, that is, to copy the characteristics of a certain place, which in turn characterize a region.

DOC wine is a wine produced within a certain region which is regulated, in which rules have been created that can go from regional limits, through the type of grape varieties and ways of cultivating them, but also the aging time before and after bottling, among others. These rules have only one purpose, to guarantee the indisputable character of the wines produced in that area or region.

Characteristics of DOC wines

The characteristics of DOC wines cannot be enumerated, since each region has its own particularities. What I can guarantee is that an AOC wine will necessarily have a guarantee stamp of the region where it was produced and that guarantees that this wine has the physico-chemical and organoleptic qualities, tested and confirmed by the regulator of this DOC, namely the Regional Winegrowing Commissions or CVR's; in the case of Douro and Port the IVDP; and in Madeira the IVBAM.

The CVR's, the IVDP and the IVBAM are the bodies that control and regulate the 31 DOC's that exist in Portugal. These entities have the function of ensuring that the rules of each region are followed, as well as the quality of the wines produced em cada uma, sendo que a qualidade está também obrigatoriamente ligada ao carácter regional que o vinho submetido à aprovação destes organismos tem e não apenas à qualidade intrínseca de cada vinho. Isto é, os vinhos DOC portugueses não são apenas avaliados pela sua qualidade, mas também avaliados em relação às características que os mesmo têm de cumprir por serem produzidos nessa região.


DOC wine production

We can say that the production of DOC wine is the result of rules imposed by the region where it is produced. I give the example of the DOC Colares wines, which can only be produced from grapes of vines planted in sandy soil, and the white and red wines have to age for a minimum of 6 and 18 months, respectively, before bottling. In the case of the DOC Colares red wine, these 18 months have to be in wood vats.

           And after this stage, the wines are still required to stay in the bottle, before being released to the market, for 3 and 6 months, respectively.

The production of an DOC wine is "bound" to very specific rules that must be followed. 

Difference between DOC wines and Regional wines 

So what is the difference between DOC wines and regional wines? And what about table wines, today just called wines?

The big difference between these are the restrictions imposed on each of the denominationsThe DOC wines have the most restrictive rules. Next are the regional wines (IGP - Protected Geographical Indication), which allow, for example, greater freedom to use grape varieties that are not native to the region. Table wines are only regulated by the rules of the IVV (Instituto da Vinha e do Vinho), which regulates the entire wine sector.

By this I do not mean that you should only buy DOC wines. Far from it. Today there are regional wines and even table wines that can have higher intrinsic quality than some DOCs, but which just do not comply with some of the imposed regional rules, preventing them from carrying the DOC or IGP label. 

Anyway, just know that when you drink a DOC wine, it has been controlled and should reflect the character of the region that is on the label...which has a special flavor.

“Simbolicamente, é como fazer uma viagem através de uma garrafa. 

Hélder Cunha

My life is the wine
Alguma questão ou sugestão de tema? Por favor, escreva para: blogdoenologo@cascawines.pt

Texto de recuperação de compra