Tuscany is associated with fine wines with a worldwide reputation, the product of a land rich in age-old traditions. What are the roots of this incredible success? A genetic code of excellence which has been handed down from generation to generation: Sangiovese.
It is a vine with red berries found all over Italy, one of the most famous indigenous Italian grape varieties which is cultivated on more than 70 thousand hectares of land between the north and south of the country, contributing to the determination of quality and the special characteristics of many different wines.
First and foremost, however, Sangiovese is the king of Tuscany, one of the finest Italian wines: from Chianti, made with the help of other grape varieties, to Brunello di Montalcino, obtained from the red Sangiovese variety, not to mention Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, obtained from prugnolo gentile Sangiovese grapes. Its secret stems from the ability to interpret the special nature of the soil to perfection, consequently modifying the aromas of wines according to their area of origin. In the right seasons, it can create highly elegant wines with acidic structure, extremely fruity, full-bodied and velvety, which become even more harmonious after a long ageing process.
It is a versatile grape variety with constant abundant production, but at the same time it is a difficult vine to cultivate. Apart from early flowering, its growth is slow and the grapes with mauvish black skin and sweet-acidic flesh are the last to ripen fully.
Did you know?
According to research work presented by Josè Vouillamoz, researcher at the Agrarian Institute of San Michele allAdige and at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland (a university which specialises in the analysis of the growth of European grape varieties), Calabria was the original home of Sangiovese.
It is therefore not thoroughbred Tuscan: besides its origins in Tuscany, through the Ciliegiolo grape variety, its DNA also contains the genetic code of an indigenous Calabrian grape variety, Montenuovo, once also cultivated in some areas of Campania in the province of Salerno.