Wine Varieties

Sangiovese Wine

Sangiovese is an Italian red wine grape varietal. As Italy’s most popular grape, it is most well known as the primary varietal used in Chianti. Owing …

A wine by any other name

Sangiovese is an Italian red wine grape varietal. As Italy’s most popular grape, it is most well known as the primary varietal used in Chianti. Owing to Sangiovese’s ability to take on characteristics of region, climate and those imparted by the winemaker, wines made from this grape vary widely in taste.


CSIRO experimented with the Sangiovese varietal in Australia in the 1960s. Since then there has been an ongoing search for most suitable climates and regions to get the best out of the grape.


Australia has been searching for the most suitable climates and regions to grow Sangiovese across several states. Western Australia and South Australia have shown some of the most promising results. This success has come at time when the international reputation of Sangiovese has improved in New World markets along with the recognition of Italian Sangiovese styles like Chianti and Brunello.  

How to pronounce

The name Sangiovese is Italian in origin. The ‘i’ is hardly pronounced as such the pronunciation is San-jo-vay-zee. The most famous name in Italian wine is Chianti. Chianti is pronounced, Kee-anti.


Sangiovese wines don’t have the aromatic impact of Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz but notes of plum and cherry along with the presence of some herbs should be expected. On the palate, the tannic structure is firm with even more plum, cherry and sour cherry.

Food pairing

Sangiovese follows the ‘red with red’ rule quite happily. Sangiovese blends, particularly Chianti wine pairs perfectly with tomato-based dishes like ragu or osso buco. The acidity in both Sangiovese and the tomato-based food neutralise one another to create a wonderful marriage of flavours.

Notable regions

Sanigovese is the most famous grape varietal in Italy. It is grown throughout the country and Sangiovese accounts for around 10% of the grapes planted in vineyards in Italy.


Chianti is bar far the best-known style of Italian wine in the world. Chianti is a controlled wine designation that requires at least 75% Sangiovese grapes. Though not exclusively produced in the region of Tuscany in Italy, it is the region that is most associated with Chianti. Tuscany is also known for the one of the Italy’s most sought after and expensive wines, Brunello di Montalcino. Brunello di Montalcino is made of 100% Sangiovese.


In Australia, South Australia and Western Australia have had success with plantings but the benchmark wines comes from the Pizzini vineyard in the Victorian Highlands. The Australian Sangiovese pioneers at Coriole Vineyards in McLaren Vale began planting in 1985 and they produce some of the finest examples. Vasarelli, Maria’s Table, Stefano De Pieri and Lark Hill also produce excellent Sangiovese wines.

The future/summary

Chianti has undergone something of a reputation rehabilitation. The hard work in this area, as well as the success of Sangiovese plantings in Australia, has lead to a greater appreciation of the grape. The high-end offerings of straight Sangiovese from wineries such as Pizzini have raised the bar for winemaking for this particular varietal, earning the trust of the wine-loving public along the way and growing the market.

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