Commonly mistaken for: None.
Origin: The original vines were probably brought in to Italy by Byzantine monks during the Middle Age. It was cultivated in the Umbria region (Central Italy), especially around the Perugia province (Montefalco). In 1879 the Commissione Ampelografica of Foligno has the first description of it in the Ampelografic Bulletin. Its name "Sagrantino" could derive from the Italian words: sacrificio or sacrestia (sacrifice or sacristy) which perhaps explains the use of this variety in the Christian religion.
Agronomic and environmental aspects: Good adaptability to the zones with dry and windy climates; good resistance to cold winter and to spring frosts. It has a preference for medium deep and friable flinty-clayey soils, with medium-low fertility. Medium wide training system is required, with cane pruning, but can be also suitable for training systems designed for full mechanization. Good, but inconsistent yield, a thinning of bunches is advisable to avoid possible attacks of botrytis.
Diseases, pests and disorders: Good resistance to extreme weather conditions, medium resistance to powdery mildew and botrytis, sensitive to downy mildew.
Growing Tip: fully open, cottony, of whitish green colour with reddish edges.
Leaf: medium size, orbicular, 3 or rarely 5-lobed. Has a closed U-shaped petiolar sinus with lobes strongly overlapping, superior side sinuses shaped like a closed lyre, while inferior are like a semi-closed V-shape. The profile is undulating, with revolute lobes.
Bunch: medium or small, of cylindrical or cylindrical-conical form, with wings, has densely distributed berries or slightly loose.
Berry: medium dimensions, elliptic or round; skin of uniform dark-blue or black colour, thick skin covered by high bloom. The juice can have very high levels of polyphenolics (6g per litre in must).
- MAT 4: Clone selected by Matura Group, Italy. Medium bunches, of cylindrical form, dense with medium-large berries; good resistance to powdery mildew and botrytis.
The wine made from the grapes of this variety is generally of red amaranth colour, tannic (because of the richness in anthocyanins of the berries), a characteristic delicate vinous perfume, fruity, with a good body and acidity. Tannin from oak can help in some cases to stabilise colour in a long ageing and give to the wine attractive ripe red fruit, tied up by vanilla, smoky or toasty flavours. With semi-dry bunches; is possible to obtain an elegant dessert wine (passito style), one of the best dessert wines of Central Italy. This variety gives origin to DOCG Sagrantino di Montefalco.