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Italian wine and grape guide : Sangiovese


The Sangiovese is a red grape variety with ancient and uncertain origins, with the origin of the name even more uncertain. Sangiovese is a grape that changes significantly its characteristics depending on the climate and altitude at which it is planted and it is Italian most planted grape variety, from north to south, but mainly found in Tuscany where it is used in all red wines and Emilia Romagna.

Tuscan grown sangiovese, and all its clones, is found in all Tuscan wines, from Chianti to Brunello di Montalcino, from Nobile di Montepulciano to Morellino di Scanzano vinified on its own or together with other grapes, and its flavour varies from dark fruit to, spice, tobacco, leather. Characteristics of the Sangiovese grape and wines are marked tannins and high acidity, making it perfect for ageing.

The Sangiovese grape is also grown in Umbria and used in many wines including the Montefalco Rosso, and it has now slowly started to appear outside Italy, from California to Argentina to Australia, with mixed results so far.