Country of origin: Italy
Berry color: Blue-black
Common synonyms: Sangiovese Grosso, Sangiovese Piccolo
Comments: The TTB-approved prime name is Sangiovese
Sangiovese is the most planted variety in Italy (about 10 percent of total acreage), especially in Tuscany, where it is thought to have originated, with documentation as far back as the sixteenth century. It is also grown extensively in the Mendoza province in Argentina, increasingly in California, and to a limited extent in Australia. Plantings in California date back to about 1880.
Crop load balance is the most important management concern due to Sangiovese’s tendency to produce two or three clusters per shoot, with clusters averaging weights at 2/3 to 1 1/3 pounds. Overcropping readily contributes to delayed fruit maturation and low fruit color, poor sugar/acid balance, and inferior wine aroma. Shoot thinning in the spring and/or cluster thinning at veraison are commonly practiced.
Styles range from rosé to full-bodied red wine, but most typically, Sangiovese is used for light- to medium-bodied Chianti-style wine. While 100 percent varietal wines are common, blends to add complexity and color are widely used. Blending varieties commonly used are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet franc, Zinfandel, or Ruby Cabernet, most often in percentages ranging from 10 to 20 percent.
Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis is the source of Foundation grapevine material for the nursery industry, and the staff can provide information about possible sources for obtaining this stock.
The National Grape Registry (NGR) contains information about varieties of wine, juice, and table grapes, raisins, and grape rootstocks available in the United States. Growers, nurseries, winemakers and researchers can find background information and source contacts for those grape varieties in this single convenient location.
Nelson-Kluk, S. and Manning, J. 2006. Sangiovese at FPS (PDF). Foundation Plant Services Grape Program Newsletter, Fall 2006:16-23.