The Newest Certified Wine on the Block, Nizza DOCG, starts with the 2014 Harvest

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It’s official: “Nizza DOCG” will be a certified wine beginning with the 2014 harvest. 

The DOCG discipline (“Controlled Designation of Origin”) is the highest level of Italian wine certification, and the Nizza DOCG will be the next one to enter the 73 Piemontese wines already in this category. It will be a “super-Barbera,” produced in 18 townships around the town of Nizza Monferrato in the southern Asti province.

Filippo Mobrici, recently elected as President of the Consortium of Safeguard for the Wines of Asti and Monferrato (Consorzio di Tutela Vini d’Asti e del Monferrato), says, “By the end of July, the National Committee on Wines will examine the public verification of the newest discipline for Nizza, after which we wait for the go-ahead from Brussels. We don’t want to assume too much, but we can well say that the road is paved for acquiring this new certification.

The wines from the Nizza area were already recognized as a subzone of the Barbera d’Asti DOCG territory. The movement for this separate recognition began several days before Christmas 2013, when the members of the Consortium approved of its regulations. A few weeks later, the National Committee on Wines gave its own unanimous approval, and the Ministry of Agriculture publicly approved it on July 7, 2014 at Isola d’Asti. The winemakers’ dreams of stamping the name of their territory onto a bottle of Barbera is set to become reality. The Producers’ Association of Nizza has, in fact, believed this since they were established in 2002. 

What are the differences between the Nizza subzone of Barbera d’Asti DOCG and Nizza DOCG?

Nizza DOCG will be 100% Barbera grapes; Barbera d’Asti required 90% Barbera

Alcohol enrichment will not be allowed; the minimum alcohol for both wines is 13%

In difficult years, Nizza DOCG will not be produced, guaranteeing optimal quality

Nizza DOCG will have a minimal barrel aging of 12 months; Barbera d’Asti DOCG is minimum 6 months. In addition, the Nizza Riserva must be aged for at least 30 months (minimum barrel aging of 12 months). 

Nizza DOCG production in numbers:

160 hectares

18 townships

250,000 bottles

44 wineries

46% exported (Germany, Switzerland, USA, China, Holland, Denmark)

First unofficial "Nizza" wine (Nizza DOCG in all but name) produced in 2000

The 18 townships in the Nizza DOCG discipline are: Agliano Terme, Belveglio, Bruno, Calamandrana, Castel Boglione, Castelnuovo Belbo, Castelnuovo Calcea, Castel Rocchero, Cortiglione, Incisa Scapaccino, Moasca, Mombaruzzo, Mombercelli, Nizza Monferrato, Rocchetta Palafea, San Marzano Oliveto, Vaglio Serra, and Vinchio.

Cover photo by Marco Gialdi, Creative Commons. License

Translated by Diana Zahuranec


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