Sangiovese is probably the grape variety that best represents Italian viticulture in the world
It has become an enological symbol of Tuscany, the basis of legendary wines ranging from the Brunello di Montalcino to Nobile di Montepulciano, from Morellino di Scansano to, of course, Chianti and Chianti Classico, it is actually grown almost everywhere along the boot, so much as to cover 11% of the entire area under vines (53,865 hectares out of 637,634), with some predilection for Central Italy, especially Emilia Romagna and Umbria, and it may come as a surprise to find that the second region where for decades the state has the greatest presence was Apulia.
But where does Sangiovese come from?
It is hard to say, because its many clones make it difficult to define an unambiguous origin.
Between history and myth, popular fiction goes back the name to "Sanguis Jovis", blood of Jupiter, a name allegedly given to him by a Capuchin monk from the convent of Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna, on the slopes of Mount Jupiter, during a banquet in honor of Pope Leo XII, who asked what the wine the monks offered him was called.
On a literary level, traces of it can be found in Gian Vettorio Soderini's "The Cultivation of Vines" of 1590, who calls it "Sangiogheto."
From then on many are the citations, always related to studies of Tuscan viticulture, but it is in 1875 that the Ampelographic Commission of Siena defines Sangiovese as the most widely grown variety in Chianti, continuing to call it Sangioveto.
In the same period, the same variety was called Sangiovese in Romagna-a differentiation that has now been lost, while dozens are, in the last 30 years, studies on the different clones of Sangiovese, searching for the right one for each territory.
In tasting and organoleptic terms, Sangiovese is a variety characterized by an important polyphenolic content, a fair alcohol-producing capacity and by an olfactory profile from which primary hints of plum, cherry and blackberry emerge, to which may be added those derived from the wood in which it has matured, such as vanilla, coffee and cocoa.
Of course, increasingly varied and refined winemaking techniques mean that beyond the most recognizable characteristics, aromatic richness and variety of flavors is particularly varied.