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WINE NOTES

Italian Wine Designation

May 02, 1991|DAN BERGER

Carmignano, one of the smallest wine-producing regions in Italy, has been accorded DOCG status for its red wine, the highest designation permitted under Italian wine law.

The Tuscan region of Carmignano has 247 acres of grapes, and its dozen producers make just 400,000 cases of wine a year. Carmignano is similar in many ways to Chianti (both use the Sangiovese grape as their main component), but Carmignano uses small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon as well.

The DOCG ( Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita ) certification is granted only to wines that meet a certain quality standard. Only eight regions of Italy have qualified as DOCG regions.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is seeking comments on the Government Warning notice that has appeared on all alcoholic beverages since Nov. 18, 1989, so that it may report to Congress whether the wording of the warning statement should be changed.

The warning statement reads: "(1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems."

The agency said the Secretary of the Treasury is required, "after appropriate investigation and consultation with the Surgeon General beginning two years after enactment, to report to Congress if current available scientific information justifies a revision of the health warning statement."

BATF said it seeks scientific information "that might justify a change in, addition to, or deletion of the health warning statement."

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