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Sagrantino



Sagrantino is an Italian grape variety that is indigenous to the region of Umbria in Central Italy. It is grown primarily in the village of Montefalco and its surrounding areas, with only 250 acres (1.0 km2) dedicated to the grape in the hands of about 25 producers. With such small production, the wine is not widely known outside of Italy, even though it was granted DOCG status in 1991. The grape is one of the most tannic varieties in the world, and creates wines that are inky purple with an almost-black center. The bouquet is one of dark, brooding red fruits with hints of plum, cinnamon, and earth. The Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG requires 100 percent Sagrantino used, with a required 29 months aging before release. A passito is still made, a thick, syrupy wine with raisin and blueberry qualities. The alcohol content is around 14 percent

History


The origins of the grape are widely disputed, but what is known is that it was used primarily for dessert wines for many years, the grape being dried in the passito style, much like a Recioto di Valpolicella. At some point, the wines were made in a dry style, and that is how they are primarily produced today.

Cultivated for centuries on the hills of Umbria, Sagrantino is considered autochthonous, although there are various theories as to its origin. Some believe it to have come from Spain, others say it was imported by the first Franciscan friars, and others still claim that it was brought into Italy by the Saracens. Possibly imported from Greece, probably by Byzantine monks in the Middle Ages. The name may derive from sacrifice or the sacristy. He was appointed by the Commission Ampelography of Foligno in 1879 and in 1893 as Baldeschi variety grown in Umbria since ancient times. The area is prime for growing Montefalco, but are also involved Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, Castel and Ritaldi of Janus' Umbria, all in the province of Perugia.

 

Wine regions


Sagrantino is grape varietal that grows only around the hilltop town of Montefalco. In fact, it is grown nowhere else in the world (although lately there have been some experiments with it in Tuscany).

SAGRANTINO DI MONTEFALCO DOCG SECCO E PASSITO

Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG or Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG wines are named after the Sagrantino grape from which they are made.  This DOCG makes a major contribution to the reputation the Region of Umbria has earned as producer of fine wines, known and consumed by popes and governors during the Renaissance. The production zone covers the entire territory of the Communes of Montefalco, Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, Castel Ritaldi and Giano dell’Umbria, within the province of Perugia. The maximum grape yield must not be over 8,000 kg per hectare of specialized vineyard. The vinification and mandatory aging operations must be done within the communes included in the production zone. 
 

The maximum yield of grapes into wine must not be more than 65% for the Montefalco Sagrantino “Secco” and 45%, referring to weight of the fresh grapes, for the “Passito” wine, the grapes of which are dried for not less than 2 months. Montefalco Sagrantino “Secco” and “Passito” may not be made available for consumption before having been aged at least 30 months, of which at least 12 months in wooden casks for the “Secco,” while for the “Passito” aging in wood is not mandatory. The aging period begins as of December 1st of the year the grapes were grown. Sagrantino Passito goes well with unleavened sweet pastries, especially cookies, and crostate (tarts) with blackberry or red fruit jams. It is drunk as a meditation wine or, when aged, with sharp pecorino cheeses. Sagrantino Secco is suitable roasts, venison, furred game and hard cheeses.

MONTEFALCO ROSSO DOC

Made from 60-70% Sangiovese and 10-15% Sagrantino grapes, with the addition of a maximum 30% of other non-aromatic red grape varieties. The production zone includes the entire territory of the Communes of Montefalco, Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, Castel Ritaldi and Giano dell’Umbria in the province of Perugia. Aging of 18 months is required, which becomes 30 months for Rosso Riserva. A white, Montefalco Bianco, is also produced from at least 50% Grechetto grapes and 20-35% Trebbiano Toscano; there may also be a maximum of 15% of other varieties. The vinification and mandatory aging operations must be done within the communes included in the production zone. Montefalco Rosso is suitable for pork, stewed lamb and mutton, grilled and braised red meats, game and sharp aged pecorino cheeses.

COLLI MARTANI GRECHETTO DOC

Made from a minimum 85% Grechetto grapes with the addition of a maximum 15% other non-aromatic white grape varieties grown in the production area. Malvasia Bianca di Candia and Malvasia Bianca Lunga grapes either alone or together must not exceed 10% of the total of the complementary varieties. The maximum grape yield must not be over 12,000 kg per hectare of specialized vineyard. The production zone includes the entire territory of the Communes of Montefalco, Gualdo Cattaneo and Giano dell’Umbria and part of the territory of the Communes of Todi, Massa Martana, Monte Castello Vibio and Castel Ritaldi in the province of Perugia. The “Colli Martani” controlled designation of origin (DOC) may include the following types: Rosso; Bianco; Trebbiano; Grechetto; Grechetto di Todi; Sangiovese and Sangiovese Riserva; Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva; Merlot and Merlot Riserva; Sauvignon; Chardonnay; Riesling and Spumante. Colli Martani Grechetto best accompanies light dishes: fish and shellfish appetizers, pasta with seafood sauces in bianco, fine roasted sea fish with extra virgin olive oil. It should be drunk within two years from the vintage year.

Follows, by region, a list of all DOC and DOCG is allowed where the use of this vine.

Umbria

Montefalco Sagrantino - 100%

Montefalco - 10 ÷ 15%

 




Viticulture and winemaking


It has medium leaf, orbicular, lobed and rarely five lobes; cluster medium or small, cylindrical or cylindrical-conical, winged, semi-sparse, medium berry, spheroidal, with black skin rather thick and covered with more or less abundant bloom. It prefers soils with medium texture, silica and clay, has an irregular production. Is highly resistant to the cold winter and spring, tolerates pretty well powdery mildew and rot, and is easily attacked by mildew, especially on the leaves. In recent years, Sagrantino is overwhelmingly rose to prominence through the intense work of Marco Caprai, which has enhanced the most of the organoleptic properties and tamed the powerful tannins (higher than those of Nebbiolo). E 'is considered one of the greatest red wines of Italy. 

 

 

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