Origins of the Sangiovese grape
Recent studies have shown that this type was already known for its goodness at the time of the Etruscans, 2000 years ago. Its origin is uncertain, but it can almost certainly be fixed on the hills between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. In the latter region it initially found optimal ground for its development. Only later did they begin to breed in Tuscany. Its multiple facets make it varied in taste even in areas not far from each other. Grapes of this type are the basis of the great red wines of central Italy. His particular name finds different interpretations depending on the schools of thought. Some say that the name derives from San Giovanni. Others, on the other hand, are of the idea that it derives from the giovannina grape that comes early to maturation, in the month of June.
This grape that supplies the homonymous grape is of great longevity and vigor. It adapts well to clay-limestone hilly terrain. During the ripening phase it prefers dry soils that favor the concentration of sugars. The vine is not taken for land located at heights above 450 m above sea level. This feature makes it less suitable in northern regions. Its delayed maturation compared to other vines would be penalized by this negative aspect. Any rain during the ripening phase would damage the berries accompanied by a thin skin. Grapes with this characteristic would give wines with bitter tannins, poor color and high acidity. The most widespread training system is the spurred cordon. In Tuscany, the low yield per hectare is preferred. In this way, year after year, the vine is strengthened, enriched with a high sugar and polyphenolic charge.
Biondi-Santi, a family dedicated to Sangiovese
Brunello is a 100% Sangiovese-based wine. In oenological practice we always try to combine different blends to create a perfectly harmonious wine. The vines are often composed so as to balance their characters and give a fine wine. Brunello, instead, is composed exclusively of grapes of this variety, thanks to the studies carried out by the members of an illustrious noble Tuscan family, the Biondi-Santi. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, Sangiovese grosso mono-vine vineyards began to be planted to understand the characteristics of the grapes produced. At the time it was not usual to do actions of this. But the Biondi-Santi family succeeded in obtaining a wine that possessed exceptional qualities in a territory in which viticulture was practiced forever but without exciting results.
Sangiovese grapes: Wines produced from Sangiovese grapes
Brunello is the most famous wine produced with grapes of this type. However, it is not the only one. In the whole of central and southern Italy, this type of vine is grown with lower yields and assembled with other blends. It is not uncommon associated with Merlot and Cabernet. Chianti is produced with Sangiovese from a minimum of 80% to 100%. The allowed vines are those authorized in the Tuscany region. At one time the native ones were used such as the Canaiolo and the Malvasia. But today, even small doses of Cabernet and / or Merlot are often used. The same is true for Morellino di Scansano which must contain at least 85% and the rest of grapes from non-aromatic vines authorized in Tuscany. Sangiovese di Romagna DOC is another famous wine of Emilia Romagna produced with 80-100% of grapes of this type with a yield not too low per hectare. Other vines up to a maximum of 15% are eligible for production.