Sangiovese grape

SANGIOVESE grape in a nutshell
  • Sangiovese is the most widely planted red grape variety in Italy, covering over 70,300 hectares.
  • The rolling hills of Tuscany provide a perfect growing environment.
  • in Tuscany, Sangiovese is the protagonist of a number of world-famous wine appellations, including Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Nobile di Montepulciano.
  • Beyond Tuscany, Sangiovese also thrives in Romagna, Umbria, the Marche region and even Corsica (France) under the name Niellucciu.
SANGIOVESE wine in a sip
  • The aromas usually recall red fruits, violets, blood orange, and dried herbs, with more complex notes of earth, leather, or tobacco also emerging with aging.
  • On the palate, they display refreshing acidity and mouthwatering tannins allowing them to pair well with a wide varieties of traditional Italian recipes.

What is Sangiovese?

Sangiovese is the most widely grown red grape variety in Italy, covering a whopping 70,300 hectares. It is present in most regions across the peninsula. However, quality Sangiovese-based wine mostly originate from Tuscany, Romagna and Umbria. Rolling hills on the foothills of the Central Appennine provide the best growing conditions for this grape, which requires mild temperatures to reach full maturity but also risks overripeness if planted in an exceedingly warm site.

What are the origins of Sangiovese?

There is no common agreement on the origin of the name “Sangiovese”. Some experts argue it may derive from Sanguis Jovis (Jupiter’s blood) or San Giovanni (St. John), the patron saint of the town of San Giovanni Valdarno in Tuscany.

Others maintain it originates from the dialectal name for the town of Santarcangelo di Romagna. If the latter hypothesis held true, then Sangiovese would be native to the Romagna region.

Anyways, the word “Sangiogheto” appears for the first time in a treaty on agricultural published by Tuscan nobleman Giovan Vettorio Soderini in 1652.

Where is Sangiovese grown in Tuscany?

Sangiovese-based wines from Tuscany are especially renowned at an international level. Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Chianti Classico and Nobile di Montepulciano are just some of the many appellations that owe their excellent reputation to the world-class potential of the variety.

Sangiovese is grown throughout the entire region and gives a number of world-famous Tuscan wines, including ChiantiChianti ClassicoBrunello di MontalcinoNobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano.

Each of these areas houses slightly different biotypes of the grape. For instance, the Sangiovese Grosso biotype is predominant in Montalcino, Prugnolo Gentile is usually associated with the township of Montepulciano (where Nobile is produced), and Sangioveto is typical of Chianti Classico.

What does Sangiovese taste like?

Sangiovese owes its incredible popularity among wine lovers to a rather unique profile. The best interpretations manage to capture the scents of the Mediterranean vegetation, evoking the awe-inspiring landscapes of Central Italy.

A vigorous and late-ripening grape, Sangiovese is suited to the production of a wide variety of wines, ranging from simple and affordable to highly ambitious and exceptionally age-worthy.

A quality Sangiovese exhibits a light and transparent ruby color that veers to garnet with evolution. Aromas recall crunchy red fruits, violets, blood orange, and dried herbs. More complex nuances of earth, leather or tobacco also emerge with prolonged oak and/or bottle aging.

Refreshing acidity and mouthwatering tannins are typical features on the palate, making for a medium to full-bodied, racy and energetic mouthfeel that makes you crave authentic Italian food.

Does Sangiovese age well?

Sangiovese gives some the age-worthiest wines in the world. Its piercing acidity and high tannin content ensure the excellent performance of premium versions in the long run. Top-notch expressions from highly regarded appellations like Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico age well for over twenty years. On the other hand, even the simplest and most affordable wines have a longer shelf life than similarly priced wines made with different grapes, drinking well for at least 3 to 5 years.

What kind of wine is similar to Sangiovese?

Nebbiolo from Piedmont shares a light color and a substiantial tannic structure with Sangiovese

Pinot Noir is also similarly transparent, and the three grapes are all renowned for their ability to give refined, complex and cellar-worthy wines.

What food does Sangiovese pair with?

The raciness of Sangiovese enhances its palate-cleansing effect, allowing it to match a wide variety of Italian dishes.

These are just some of the recommended pairings:

  • Lasagna or tagliatelle with bolognese ragù sauce with a medium-bodied wine like Chianti or Chianti Classico.
  • Fiorentina T-Bone steak with Chianti Classico Riserva, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione or Brunello di Montalcino.
  • Pizza Margherita with a juicy and fruit-forward Morellino di Scansano.
  • Pasta with black truffle with Umbrian Montefalco Rosso or Torgiano Rosso.
  • Furred game with aged Brunello di Montalcino and/or Brunello di Montalcino Riserva


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