Wine & Ratings

Sangiovese

About Sangiovese

While grown throughout central Italy, Tuscany is the spiritual home of this red grape, which produces spectacular, bright and ageworthy wines.

In the vineyard, Sangiovese is purplish-black in hue, though it yields a fiercely cherry-red wine when pressed. It can grow successfully in areas with very little accessible water, however it does not thrive in climates prone to temperature extremes.

Sangiovese is able to adapt to a variety of soil types, yet it performs at its best in limestone-laden regions.

It is a thin-skinned, high-acid grape that is known for its tart cherry and tomato flavors, with earthy undertones that are expressive of a particular terroir.

Sangiovese in Italy

Sangiovese is one of the most planted varieties in Italy, where it’s grown in regions like Emilia-Romagna, Marche and Umbria. However, no region is more synonymous with the variety than Tuscany. It is the dominant grape in the wines of Chianti and Chianti Classico, where it makes up at least 70% of the former and at least 80% of the latter.

Further south, it is the main grape in the savory wines of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the ageworthy, structured reds of Brunello di Montalcino, where it’s locally known as Prugnolo Gentile. The versatile grape is also used in the light-bodied reds of Morellino di Scansano closer to the coast, and is blended with international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in many Toscana IGT wines.

Global Production

Sangiovese has a long history in Corsica, which has grown the variety since at least the 14th century. On this island it is known as Nielluccio and is grown throughout the Patrimonio region.

In the United States, California has the most plantings of the variety. The regions of Napa, Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and the Sierra Foothills have the most significant plantings. The Pacific Northwest’s Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys, which ride the border between Washington and Oregon, also offer examples of the variety.

There are small plantings of Sangiovese in Argentina, Australia and Chile, which can be bottled as a varietal wine or incorporated into blends.

Synonyms: Brunelletto, Brunello, Brunello di Montalcino, Cacchiano, Calabrese, Chiantino, Corinto Nero, Guarnacciola, Liliano, Morellino, Morellino di Scansano, Negrello, Nerello, Nerello Campotu, Niella, Nielluccio, Primaticcio, Prugnolo Dolce, Prugnolo Gentile, Puttanella, San Gioveto, San Zoveto, Sangiogheto, Sangiovese Grosso, Sangiovese Piccolo, Sangioveto, Tabernello, Toustain, Tuccanese, Vigna del Conte, Vigna Maggio

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