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Recognizing the need to improve the overall quality of its wines, in the mid-twentieth century Italy turned to the model of France, which has had detailed legislation in place since 1935 regulating the country's wine-producing appellations with a series of strict control measures.
In 1963, Italy introduced its system of Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or DOC, in an attempt to bring order to the anarchy rampant in the Italian wine industry. Unfortunately, the new classification system was lax and overly subjective, and appellations such as Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano lost all significant meaning. Instead of promoting quality and integrity, the new legislation encouraged incompetence and mediocrity. To break free of this legislative straightjacket that was nothing short of ridiculous, innovative winegrowers committed to quality were forced to associate themselves with less prestigious banners. Turning to the Vino da Tavola label (the lowest officially recognized quality of ordinary Italian wines not part of a DOC classification), skilled winegrowers were able to produce an original line of wines that would become the Italian emblem of prestige. When one of these wines won an international tasting competition in 1978, the legend of the Super Tuscans was born. Considered among the world's finest wines, these jewels of Tuscan viticulture are the result of meticulous technique and profound respect for the inherent integrity of the terroir.
When the Goria Act was passed in 1992, Vino da Tavola labelling was revoked, and today Tuscany's top wines are regulated by either the IGT or DOC legislation governing the indication of origin and grape variety.