Denominazione di Origine Controllata is the Italian equivalent of the French “Appelation of Controlled Origin” system. It was begun in 1963, and rejigged in 1992 to conform with the European Union’s “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO) programme, which came into effect in 1993. DOC is now the Italian equivalent of an EU PDO.
DOC certified food has to be produced in a certain area using certain methods and meeting certain standards for that particular product.
There are two DOC levels:
- DOC: Denominazione di Origine Controllata
- DOCG: Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita
The DOCG is a higher designation, subject to higher regulation and standards. It came about because the original DOC level had become so discredited owing to fraud and producers evading their own rules, that the government had to create the higher level, “DOCG — Denominazione di origine controllata garantita.” Roughly translated into English, it means “honestly, you can trust this one.”