Why do Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino have a typical full ruby red colour, which becomes garnet when mature? Because of the worldwide famous Sangiovese grape, which gives birth to many of the finest Italian wines. Here is where the journey into the native and transplanted vines begins, through which Tuscan wine gained international recognition: Canaiolo, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Trebbiano Toscano and of course, Sangiovese.
The name “Sangiovannina grape”, refers to its early ripening, but the French name “joueller” (from the Latin “jugalis”), means “fix with supports”. The origins are uncertain and date back to pre- Roman agriculture and culinary tradition. What we certainly know is that Sangiovese grape is native of the area between Florence and Siena and its use began to spread throughout Italy during the 1800s, because of its much appreciated, particular floral aroma and its relative ease of cultivation, which adapts to different types of soil. The Sangiovese vine prefers hilly terrain of medium or low fertility, which would not allow for the cultivation of any other plant.
From this hardy vine come very tannic wines, full-bodied, pleasantly harmonious on the palate, with no sharp edges, which are good for aging (just think of Brunello Riserva) with an aroma of spices, red fruit and blackberries, black cherry, strawberry, blueberry, black currant and cherry and hints of violet and rose. Aging takes place generally in barrels, according to the individual wine specification and the producer’s choice.
The savory tannins makes Sangiovese wines very suitable for meat, game, cheese and well-structured soup. Perfect when paired with Tuscan cuisine, it is also good when combined with more delicate and less pronounced dishes of other regional recipes, going from Montefalco in Umbria, to Sannio in Campania and from Garda Bresciano down to Monreale Siciliano.