Sangiovese is Italy’s most planted variety and is responsible for all of the great red wines of Tuscany. Although Californian wineries are producing good Sangiovese, the same could be said for nearly every other grape variety in the world. Chianti, Brunello de Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and Carmignano are all made with Sangiovese as their backbone.
Sangiovese grapes thrive in Tuscany’s warm growing season and its shale, clay, and limestone soils. It typically produces wines high in acid and tannin. Traditionally, large barrels called botti have been used instead of small new oak barriques. Many Tuscan reds are also blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and are commonly referred to as “Super Tuscans.”