The Sangiovese


It’s often said that Sangiovese di Romagna wine embodies the character of the people of Romagna: it’s exuberant yet candid, robust on the outside but delicate and sincere on the inside. And in 1967 it was the rst Romagna wine to win DOC status.

Our Riviera has always been famous for good fun and ne cooking, yet Sangiovese wine has traditionally been enjoyed as a companion to humbler stuff like piadina atbread with rocket and squacquerone, chargrilled lamb chops, or sausages and cured meats made from the Mora Romagnola pig – often best sampled in modest suburban dance halls to the sound of the liscio. With its fragrance and avour, Sangiovese has the power to take us back in time, to awaken the desire to savour once again the sunshine and contagious joy of Romagna – the land and its people.

Sangiovese is a DOC wine which is only produced in the provinces of Forlì- Cesena, Ravenna, and Rimini, and seven municipalities in the province of Bologna. Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes or from Sangiovese blended with small quantities (no more than 15%) of other local red grape varieties, it was the rst Romagna wine to be awarded DOC status. In 2011 it was of cially renamed Romagna Sangiovese.

The undisputed champion of central Italian wines and unrivalled signore of the Romagna hills, Sangiovese is the most widely-grown Italian grape and the principal component of such distinguished wines as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano – not to mention many others, of less renown but every bit as good.

The earliest documented references to Sangiovese date from the 17th century. According to legend, the name – Sanzve’s in the Romagnol dialect – was coined in a monastery in Santarcangelo di Romagna, whose monks produced an exceptionally good red wine. On sampling this wine one day, an illustrious visitor to the monastery asked what it was called – to the embarrassment of his hosts, to whom it had never occurred to give their wine a name. Up stepped a quick-witted monk. Taking his cue from the name of the hill – Colle Giove – on which the monastery stood, he told the visitor that the wine was called “Sangue di Giove” – the Blood of Jupiter.

Whatever the real origins of the grape and its name, the sustained growth in quality of Sangiovese has earned it a place among the noblest of Italian wines.