Italy's Sangiovese grape has been planted extensively in the Herault region in the south of France.
Herault: 'interesting for Sangiovese'
Italy's Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo – the world’s largest cooperative nursery – has sold about 170,000 Sangiovese vines to five Herault producers: Domaine de Gournier, des Peyrats, de la Bousquette, Clos des Roques, and de St. Laurent.
The vines consist of clones Toscano, Brunello, Romagnolo, Prugnolo, Montalcino, and Morellino.
VCR's director general, Eugenio Sartori, told Decanter.com Sangiovese’s relative resistance to drought and higher yields made it an ‘interesting opportunity for the south of France, especially the Languedoc’.
He speculated that other Italian varieties such as Malvasia, Manzoni Incrocio, Teroldego, and others may play a future role in Languedoc viticulture.
Sangiovese is cultivated on France's island of Corsica as 'Nielluccio' but this the first appearance of the variety on the mainland.
In Italy demand for new Sangiovese vines, best known as the grape behind Tuscany's Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, has fallen precipitously, from 10m plants in 2001 to under 3m today.