Soave's new Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, (DOCG), Italy's highest wine designation, will not be applied to the well-known white wine region in northeastern Italy until the 2002 harvest. Although the Italian government approved the DOCG on July 14, wine producers in Soave said they could not implement the new rules in time for this year's harvest.
The Soave Superiore DOCG is supposed to be a step up from the existing Soave DOC designation and is intended to encourage producers to cut back on the quantity and improve the quality of their wines.
The Soave DOCG area encompasses more than 11,100 acres out of the roughly 15,500 acres in the Soave DOC, which is currently Italy's largest DOC. The appellation's dry, white wines are primarily made from the high-yielding Garganega grape variety.
To carry the new DOCG designation on their labels, wineries will have to cut production levels from the current maximum of 100 hectoliters per hectare (5.7 tons per acre) to 70 hectoliters per hectare (4 tons per acre) and increase the density of their plantings.
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