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 Filed as : Wine TipsViticulture

Getting to Know Brunello

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  • Publish Date: Jan 14, 2010

Ciao! Come va? Mi chiamo Brunello di Montalcino. I know you’ve heard my name before, but there’s a chance you were a little confused about exactly who I am and where I’m from. Sure, my name sounds smooth and I bet you enjoy my international intrigue, but you should get to know me a little better before you order again.

First, please don’t mistake me for my cousin Chianti Classico, while we both call Tuscany home and are made from the Sangiovese grape, I am produced with a very special clone that only makes up about 1% of all Sangiovese vineyards. My story goes like this:

In 1842, my name "Brunello," which translates to “nice dark one,” was first cited in the town of Montalcino in reference to the local version of the Sangiovese grape, so called for the deep, black-purple color of its berries. At the time, vinification problems plaguing Montalcino’s producers led a pharmacist from Pienza, Clemente Santi, to seek a solution. Progress encouraged him to establish his own estate, Il Greppo, and in 1870 his grandsons succeeded in cloning the sub-variety of Sangiovese Grosso, now known as Brunello, from the estate’s vines.

As a result, I am a grape capable of producing an unblended wine of power and longevity distinct from any other variation of Sangiovese. I am characterized by concentration and exceptional tannic structure allied to great elegance. My black fruit flavors are marked by notes of leather upheld by a firm acidity.

Visit for more information on me and my Sangiovese cousins.

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