Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Sangiovese, qualitatively variable red grape variety that is Italy’s most planted wine vine and is particularly common in central Italy. In 1990, almost 10% of all Italian vineyards, or more than 100,000 ha/247,000 acres, were planted with some form of Sangiovese, although this had fallen to 71,558 ha/176,824 acres by 2010. In its various clonal variations and names (brunello, prugnolo gentile, Morellino, nielluccio), Sangiovese is the principal vine variety for fine red wine in tuscany, the sole grape permitted for brunello di montalcino (in theory), and the base of the blend for chianti, vino nobile di montepulciano, and the vast majority of supertuscans. It is, in addition, the workhorse red grape of all of central Italy, widely planted in umbria (where it gives its best results in the docg wines Torgiano and Montefalco), in the marche (where it is the base of Rosso Piceno and an important component of Rosso Conero), and in lazio. Sangiovese can be found as far afield as Lombardy and Valpolicella to the north and Campania to the south.