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Ciliegiolo is a red grape variety with large, sweet, fragrant berries. It is grown mostly in the Liguria, Tuscany, and Umbria regions of northern and central Italy. As the name suggests, it is often used on the Tuscany coast to make bright, cherry-scented varietal wines.


Variety of central Tuscany, perhaps imported from Spain in 1870, takes its name from its characteristic color and aroma reminiscent of cherries. Tradition says that Ciliegiolo came to Italy from Spain, but the Florentine writer Soderini who in the 17th century described a "Ciregiuolo dolce" with a long bunch, a somewhat large berry, and a sweet and fragrant flavour. 
The Racah (1932) supposed that the region was brought by pilgrims returning from the shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Marzotto (1925), De Santis (1937), Dalmasso (1946) and Cosmos (1948) mention him in comparison with the Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Canaiolo. In fact, recent studies, shows that the Ciliegiolo is one of the parents of Sangiovese and could correspond all'Aglianicone. While able to give support and Sangiovese wines, is in sharp decline (about 5,000 ha). Its leaf is medium or large, pentagonal, three-lobed or five-lobed; cluster large, semi-compact or compact, elongated, cylindrical, pyramidal, winged, medium-large berries, peel of medium thickness with rounded, black-purple, rich in bloom .
Much appreciated in the production of the "Tuscan Novello," is mainly used as cutting grapes, although in recent years is enjoying a renewed interest and some manufacturers will begin to fine wines from ciliegiolo alone.



Wine regions

Currently, Ciliegiolo is cultivated almost exclusively in Umbria and Tuscany, though the two regions give distinctly different wines. The Ciliegiolo of Umbria, grown in an inland area with a somewhat cool, continental climate, is a light, fruity wine meant to be drunk young. In Tuscany, in contrast, beginning with vintages at the end of the 1980's, a warmer, more maritime climate and a more ambitious winemaking philosophy have produced startlingly different results. These have come principally from the Maremma, the coastal area of the region in the province of Grosseto

There are around 5000 hectares of Ciliegiolo in Italy, a figure that has been in steady decline. It is used in the wines from Torgiano Rosso Riserva, Parrina, Colli Lucchesi, Chianti, Val di Cornia, Golfo del Tigullio and Colli di Luni.

Other regions


Viticulture and winemaking

Ciliegiolo is not an easy grape to grow, suffering at times from shatter. The berries average 19.2mm long, 19.0mm wide, and weigh 3.68g
The grape is medium-large and roundish, the skin has a purple-black color and produces a rather abundant amount of pruina.

The wine is ruby red, robust, with low alcohol content, fruity and has low acidity.

Environmental and cultural characteristics and needs : he leaves medium or large, pentagonal, three-lobed or five lobes, big bunch and elongated, pyramid-shaped cylinder, with two wings, sometimes only one, aspect of semi-compact or compact; berry medium-large round or subrotondo, plenty of skin covered with bloom , moderately thick with purplish black, juicy pulp with simple and pleasant taste. He consistently high production, is well adapted to different environments but still prefer moderately fertile, moist soil hilly, hot, dry climates that ensure a better balance vegetative-productive. The reduced fertility suggests baseline to avoid pruning.

Diseases and adversity : he has an average sensitivity to mildew and sour rot , particularly suffers attacks of botrytis , and resists better to ' powdery mildew and esca , suffering with the wind and spring frosts has no fear of drought.

Follows, by region, a list of all DOC and DOCG is allowed where the use of this vine and a selection of producers who use it in one of their wines.
Liguria :
- Colli di Luni: 15-40% (if present)
- Colline di Levanto: 20-40%
- Gulf of Tigullio: 20-70% (the Rose), 85-100% (with mention of the vine)
- Polcevera: min. 60% (alone or in combination with sangiovese and / or sweet)

Tuscany :
 - Colli Etruria Centrale: 0-50% (as Novello)
 - Colli di Luni (see California)
 - Colline Lucchesi: 0-30%
 - Monaco: 10-15% (and / or Colorino and / or Syrah and / or Malvasia Nera and / or Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon and / or Merlot)
 - Pietraviva: min. 85% (with mention of the vine)
 - Val di Cornia: min. 85% (with mention of the vine)

Emilia Romagna :
 - Colli di Faenza: 40-60% (and / or Ancellotta and / or Merlot or Sangiovese)
 - Colli di Rimini: 0-25%

Brands :
 - Colli Maceratesi: 0-50%
 - San Gines: min. 35% (and / or Vernaccia black and / or Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc and / or Merlot)

Umbria :
 - Colli Amerini: 0-35%
 - Colli del Trasimeno: 0-30%
 - Lake Corby: 0-30%
 - Red Orvietano: 0-70% (Red), min. 85% (with mention of the vine)

Lazio :
 - Etruscan Viterbo Hills: 0-15%
 - Velletri: 0-20%
 - Vignanello: 40-50%

Abruzzo :
 - Controguerra: min. 85% (with mention of the vine)
 - Velletri: 0-20%
 - Vignanello: 40-50%


Aleatico di Spagna, Ciliegino, Ciliegiolo di Spagna, Ciliegiuolo and Ciriegiuolo Dolce





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