Sangiovese was one of the early Italian varieties planted in Australia and has now established itself well in several Australian regions. It is the most planted variety in Italy and it is planted throughout the whole country and is believed to go back to the times of the Romans. It performs well in a variety of soils and climates and is thus a very adaptable variety. There are over 100 clones of Sangiovese.
It comes to its own in Tuscany where it is the main grape variety in Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Moltepulciano but is also the most important variety of much of central Italy from Romagna to Lazio. It produces good wine at all levels from vino da tavola to the great Brunellos and as a major component of some of the superb Super Tuscans.
In the vineyard it requires dedication to produce high quality wines. It is naturally vigorous and canopy and crop yields must be monitored and controlled throughout the growing period. Clonal selection is also important with regard to yields and vineyard characteristics.
At its best, when yields are kept low and grapes allowed to fully ripen, sangiovese can produce beautiful middle weight wines with chalky tannins and savoury characters which make the ideal accompaniment to many Italian foods.