Tai or Tocai: what do you call it? Let's clarify.
Tai, which has always been called Tocai Bianco or Friulano, is a very widespread grape variety in the eastern Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions, and for this reason represents the most representative territorial (autochthonous) wine for the wineries producing in this area.
Its origin has been widely debated, to be eventually identified with the "Sauvignonasse" cultivated in the past in France, but now almost disappeared.
Tocai is one of the white wines that has always ennobled the viticulture and oenology of north-eastern Italy. Today, this name can no longer be used by Italian wineries. Since 2007, following a diatribe between Hungarian companies, producers of Tokaj, and Friulian companies that began in the 1950s, the European Union has sanctioned a ban on the use of the names Tocai Friulano and Tocai Italico on labels, with the consequent introduction, through the issuance of Ministerial Decrees, of the synonyms "Friulano" and "Tai".
As of today, therefore, there are three appellations that represent the now ex-Tocai:
● Friulano: specific synonym for Tocai produced within the appellations (DOC) of Friuli-Venezia Giulia
● Tai: a synonym identifying Tocai produced in the production areas of Veneto, and more specifically Eastern Veneto
● Lison: a synonym identifying the highest expression of Tocai, which has been awarded the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), the highest level from a quality point of view for an Italian wine.
The production area of Lison DOCG, which is the Consorzio Vini Venezia 's area of reference, is located north-east of Venice and extends over two regions: in Veneto, mainly in the province of Venice and part of that of Treviso, and in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the province of Pordenone. Therefore, a very restricted production area, within which the so-called "Classic" zone can be identified.
Therefore, the Lison DOCG production regulations identify a small portion of territory, represented by a limited number of municipalities that are part of the historic Tocai production area, within which Lison DOCG acquires the additional mention "Classico", which entails further restrictions from a production point of view.
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