Synonym: Brunello, Calabrese, Cardisco, Maglioppa, Moscatale, Morellino, Mollino di Scansano, Nerino, Pigniuolo rosso, Pignolo, Pignolo rosso, Prugnolo, Prugnolo gentile, Riminese, Sangineto, Sangigheto, Sanvincetro, - dal cannello lungo di Predappio, - dolce, - gentile, - di Lamole, - di Romagna, San Gioveto rosso, San Roveto, Tignolo. Nielluccio in Corsica (France) .
Commonly mistaken for: Ciliegiolo, Montepulciano, Moscato Nero, Moscato Rosato, Moscato Rosso, Uva Tosca.
Origin: It’s very difficult to find the history of this variety before XVI century; In 1950, an Italian writer, Soderini, wrote "The cultivation of the grapevines" (La coltivazione della vite) , which for the first time spoke about the Sangiogheto (one of Sangiovese’s synonyms). The origin of the name is not certain, but an interesting hypothesis has been given by Hohnerleien Buchinger (1996). Since the vine has an early time of budburst, in Tuscany the dialect form to say this kind of grape is "sangiovannina" (or uva primaticcia, meaning “early grapes”); this is only one hypothesis; another one is a semantic search starting from the Latin word “jugalis”, that in French has become jouellè (row of grapevines) and jouelle (bar that connects two grapevines), where the training system gives the name to the variety; while in ancient Italian "jugum", yoke or ridge, being referred either to the top a mountain and to the hilly landscape of the Tuscan-Romagna Appennines. According to all authors (Molon, 1906) this vine comes from Toscany and more precisely in the zone of the Chianti. In the '800 the Sangiovese begins its expansion toward Romagna, the Emilia, Umbria, the Abruzzo, part of the Lazio, northern Puglia and western Campania.
Sangiovese is a very large “family”, in fact this grapevine is characterized by a high intravarietal phenotypical variability that confirms the multiclonal origin of this variety. This has created a large genetic basis where selective pressures carried out with different production targets have amplified its variability more widely, by effect of accumulation of genic variations and of the interaction with environment.
Campostrini and others (1995) have detected the existence of 5 ecotypes that can be differentiated for production and quality characteristics of their musts; in detail that discrimination interests the weight of berries, together with the side of clusters.
Calò and others, (1995-2000) have affirmed the existence of two fundamental typologies: the Sangiovese grosso (big), to which they correspond the principal biotypes cultivated in Romagna and in Tuscany and a Sangiovese piccolo (small) to which it corresponds the Sanvicetro cultivated in the Casentino. Usually the biotype with small bunches also less strength, smaller leaves with 5-lobed, and give more acid and less sugary musts.
Agronomic and environmental aspects: This vine is very adaptable to different climates, but having an early time of budburst it can be susceptible to spring frosts. It prefers less fertile soils and low-vigour sites, with a good perceptual of clay, rich in calcium carbonate and in rock fragments. Suitable for different training systems, rod or spur pruning, easily adaptable for every type of training system also designed for full mechanization. High and constant yield, a summer pruning and a thinning of bunches is advisable to avoid possible attacks of botrytis and improve the quality of fruits.
Diseases, pests and disorders: Medium resistance to downy mildew, more susceptible to powdery mildew and botrytis. Susceptible to attacks of mites, good resistance to rhynchota and moths. At risk with Esca and black measles.
Growing Tip: Half-open or fully open, cottony, of whitish green colour with reddish edges.
Leaf: Medium size of blade, pentagonal shape, 3-lobed, also 5-lobed. Has U-shaped petiolar sinus, sometimes semi-open V-shaped; the lateral superior sinuses superior shaped like a semi-closed lyre, with lobes slightly overlapping, while the inferior (if there are) are like an open V. The profile is flat, rarely undulate, hairless, but with a few tufted hair on the lower surface.
Bunch: Medium or medium-large size for Sangiovese “big” and medium-small size for Sangiovese “small”; of cylindrical-pyramidal form, with one or two wings, with densely distributed berries.
Berry: of medium dimensions, round or elliptic; skin of uniform purplish-black colour, medium thick covered by high bloom.
- VCR 4:The bunch structure is typical of Sangiovese “Lamole” type, large size of cluster, with wing and a medium density of berries. This clone has a big berry and a good resistance to botrytis; it’s recommended for good yield and very good fruit quality. Clone typically used in Chianti.
- VCR 6:Biotype “Brunello”, selected in Montalcino. Its bunch is medium-small, of conical form with a very developed wing that in some cases forms a double bunch. The berry has a thick skin and small dimension. Excellent resistance to botrytis.
- VCR 16:Biotype Sangiovese Romagnolo, clone selected in vineyard of Romagna, in Vecchiazzano (Forlì). Bunch is medium-small, of cylindrical form with wings. The berry has medium size and ovate shape. Medium density of hairs on tip. Good resistance to botrytis.
- VCR 19:The vine has good vigour, with a good an constant yield. It is recommended that this clone be cultivated in hilly areas, with good exposure and strong soils that will give good solid wines. This clone has bunch of medium-small dimension, with wings. The berry has large size.
- VCR 23:Biotype Sangiovese Romagnolo, clone selected in vineyard of Romagna, in Vecchiazzano (Forlì). The vine has good vigour; the bunch has medium-small size, with a medium density of berries. These have ovate shape, of medium dimension and dark-blue colour. Good resistance to botrytis.
- VCR 102:Biotype Prugnolo; clone selected in Montepulciano. The vine has medium vigour and a very good bud fertility. Medium-small bunch, of cylindrical-pyramidal form, with loose density of berries; can show “hen and chicken”. The berry has medium-small size, of round shape.
- MAT 1:The vine has low vigour, with short internodes. The form of tip is half-open. The bunch structure is typical of Sangiovese “Prugnolo” biotype, characterized by a cylindrical-pyramidal form and loose density of berries; but has a large size of clusters, usually shows a physiological alteration: “hen and chicken” (green millerandage). The berry has small dimension and elliptic shape. Good resistance to botrytis.
- MAT 2:Vines of medium vigour, characterised by bunches of medium dimension, sometimes winged, of cylindrical or pyramidal form and with a good density of berries. It’ s a biotype that prevails in the area of Montepulciano. The berry has medium size, oval, very dark-blue colour.
- MAT 3:Vines of medium-high vigour and good productivity. The bunch structure is one of the biotypes prevailing in Montalcino, winged, long and quite compact. The berry is medium, ovate, of a blue-violet colour, with a thick skin covered by a good quantity of bloom.
- MAT 4:The vine has medium-low vigour, with a medium and consistent production. The bunch, of long pyramidal form, has medium size, with one wing and a medium density of berries. The berry has medium dimension, blue to black colour, with a good quantity of bloom.
- MAT 6:Vines of medium-high vigour and production. The bunches have small size, with medium density of berries, of cylindrical form with a very developed wing that in some cases forms a double bunch. This type of bunch, representing approximately 60% of the present genotypes, prevails in the area of Montalcino. The berry has medium dimension, blue to black, with a good quantity of bloom.
- MAT 7:The vine has high vigour and a medium production. The bunch has small size, with loose density of berries, of conical form with a very developed wing that in some cases forms a double bunch. This type of bunch, representing approximately 60% of the present genotypes, prevails in the area of Montalcino. The berry has medium dimension, ovate, dark-blue colour, with a good quantity of bloom.
(*): With bunches thinning.
(**): Without bunches thinning.
Principal Viticultural and Physiological Characteristics:
(1): The vigour of these clones can be classified between medium and high, but inside this category can be noted some differences: + (more vigorous); - (less vigorous).
(2): The fertility is expressed in number of clusters per shoot.
(3): The bud burst in this variety is medium-early, approximately 5 days after Chardonnay, but inside this group of clones there are some differences: + (later); - (earlier).
(4): The ripening in this variety is late, approximately 1 week before Cabernet Sauvignon, but inside this group of clones there are some differences: + (later); - (earlier).
(5): The colorimetric range was tested from the juice not by phenolic analysis:
1) Very slightly coloured
2) Slightly coloured
4) Strongly coloured
5) Very strongly coloured
(6): Use in winemaking. This want to be only a suggestion, abstracted from some searches made by the University of Milan and of Florence with the collaboration of some Tuscan provinces.
The variety is most common in Italy, especially in the Tuscany region. One of the most famous wines made in Tuscany is Chianti. The old recipe for Chianti was established by Baron Ricasoli in the 19th Century. This averages 4/5 Sangiovese as the varietal base (along with a little bit of Canaiolo and Colorino, and 1/5 of white varieties (Trebbiano and Malvasia). Many vineyards were traditionally planted with this varietal mix; in the very old vineyard is still possible to find row with four red vines and one white. Still, the total white grapes used must not exceed 5% of the blend. Can be also bottled as a stand-alone varietal if is well-made it share a certain complexity, an intense ruby-red in colour, tannic, full bodied, harmonious, with a pleasant slightly bitter back taste, fruity when young; but often the final product can be a “rough” wine, that takes a strong orange colour as it ages. So the best way is to blend with comparable varieties (for example Montepulciano or Cabernet Sauvignon) which stabilizes the colour during the ageing and releases excellent fragrances to become a very refined and elegant aristocratic wine. Sangiovese is also important for several DOCG Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano, Chianti, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano etc. And not only Tuscan DOC : Bardolino, Garda orientale, Valdadige, Sangiovese di Romagna, Montefalco, Rosso Piceno, Rosso Conero, Velletri, etc.