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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Nicolas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani

Assoenologi, the Association of Italian Oenologists, has ascertained that only 127 of the 325 DOC disciplines call for the date to be on the label. Surprisingly, an indication of vintage is optional, and the association has lodged a request to make vintage indication obligatory for all DOC and IGT wines. The purpose is to avoid the perception of undated wines as anonymous, and to protect the consumer from over-the-hill wines. The association's inquiry reveals a legislative situation in contradiction with the desire on the part of most Italian producers to proudly declare the vintage of their product, together with that of the consumer to require its presence. An absence of vintage indication is associated today with only the most basic table wines.