Sangiovese vine has very ancient origins. It has been known since 1500, but its origin is most probably Etruscan. In particular it seems to come from the north of the Tevere and south of the Arno, from which it would then spread beyond the Apennines, to Romagnole and Emilian hills. The origin of the name is even more uncertain, ranging from "sangiovannina grapes" with reference to its early maturation, the french term "joueller" derived from the latin "jugalis", that is to say, "fixing to the supports". Another legend tells us that the name comes from Sanguis Jovis, blood of Jupiter, named by a capuchin monk from the convent of Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna, near Mount Jove, during a banquet in honor of Pope Leone XII, who asked the name of the exquisite nectar that the monks had served.
The Sangiovese vine has two distinct typologies. Big Sangiovese corresponde to some biotypes cultivated in Tuscany, including Brunello and Prugnolo Gentile. Small Sangiovese is cultivated both in Toscany and Emilia Romagna and in the rest of Italy, including Morellino, cultivated in the Scansano area. This grapes greatly changes characteristics according to the variation of climates and altitude of cultivation.
Sangiovese is vigorous but difficult to cultivate because, although it adapts well to different climates, it has some suffering for the cold and humid ones. It does not have particular needs regarding soils, but it seems to prefer those not much fertile and calcareous, where it provides the best results with warm temperatures and dry environments. Sprouting occurs in middle ages, with late maturation. It is sensitive to chlorosis, and suffers from excessive acidity if it matures too long. Sangiovese could be cultivated with different methods, as well as pruning, that can be both short and long. Particularly sensitive to Botrytis and rotting because of the thin skins. Another problem may be a certain, but not excessive suffering, to oidium.
Some ampelographic nods
Sprout is of medium size, glabrous, green, slightly rosy. Adult leaf is of medium size, light green color tending to brilliant according to the exposure. Bunch is medium or medium-large, compact and tight, it has pyramidal cylindrical shape with one or two wings. Grape has a medium or medium-big size, with a thin, but purple black skin very pruinose. Pulp is melted and slightly fleshy, the juice is rosy, sweet and acidic.