The rapid rise of Sangiovese in India

Once the Sangiovese bug bites you, it’s hard to get rid of it. The surge in its popularity in the past few decades, through the reinvention and rapid rise of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a clear indication that its popularity is spreading, and is infectious. India has been growing and making exemplary Sangiovese wines for a decade and a half, and the level of their success is unprecedented.

Sangiovese (the name derives from the Latin, sanguis jovis or the blood of Jove) roselike a phoenix in the early 1980s. Its previous reputation was that of a jug-wine served at trattorias and cafes by the litre, or a touristy, spritzy wine placed on every table in strawcoverd flasks that you’d drink and forget. It was only after Italian winemakers embraced modern winemaking techniques that Sangiovese rebuilt itself from the ashes of ignorance and past mistakes. Careful clonal and site selection, the use of barriques, blending with international varieties and aiming for low yields, all aided in making it not just the top varietal from Tuscany, but a dominant Italian superstar that has found a home in Australia, California, South America, and India.

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