Have you ever poured a glass of wine so impressive you felt the urge to discover its origins? That’s indicated on the bottle label, you’d say – the wine is from the town X, in the region Y, of course.
Or is it?
A closer look at the label, or precisely a three-letter abbreviation, may tell you more than you think. The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) are your new best friends in the adventure of discovering European wines! These two quality schemes were created and implemented by the EU in 1992 and have been a stamp for quality ever since. PGI and PDO are meant to protect the authenticity of products from different regions of EU and dismiss the possibility of imitating or fake products.
If you encounter a stamp of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), that means that the wine you are enjoying is made in the said region, using specific techniques and presenting exclusive to the place characteristics, even though the vines can be grown a different place. Wines require 85% of the used grape to be from the same geographical area where the wine is produced. For example, a wine with PGI Thracian lowlands is exclusively made in this area, using all the established methods for the region and carrying the natural specifics attributable to Lowlands.
On the other hand, the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) means all the stages of preparation of the wine are taking place in one area – the vine growing, the winemaking, all the way to the bottling. So, if you drink a wine with PDO label you may be certain that every single grape used in it comes from the said area.
Why do we need these labels?
The European Union offers a huge range of unique products from every country. The traditions and know-how of each country’s gastronomy treasures are of great value to the EU and as the market is expanding, the urge to protect them has increased. As we step into new markets, we strive to present these unique flavours and to be sure of their authenticity. This is why the PGI and PDO labels have become a stamp of recognition of the quality European products. These practises exclude the possibility of imitations and fake products, and provide the consumer with the reassurance of the origin and genuine quality.
The process of obtaining these labels is a thorough one, and we wouldn’t want to keep you away from that glass of wine you poured earlier. We will just say that in order to obtain such a quality scheme, the wine producer has to undergo numerous tests and prove the quality of the process, the quality of the vines, the environmentally conscious method of work, the purity of the used grape and so on, and so on. The quality schemes represent the added value that the EU protects fiercely and presents proudly.
In conclusion, when you sip from your glass of wine and think ‘What an amazing European wine!’ – and believe us, you will think that – search for the PGI or PDO labels. They will tell you a tale of the sunrays, the valleys, the rivers and the fields where it all began. Unravel the history of the magnificent drink in you glass and taste the authentic flavour of Europe!
The content of this promotion campaign represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.