The Sangiovese grape needs a sunny and relatively long growing season to properly ripen. Wines made from 100% Sangiovese are generally light to medium bodied and can have the aroma of sour cherries. The varietal is also often used in blends.
Tuscan immigrants began planting California Sangiovese during the late 19th century. The grape has recently become very popular as part of the “Cal-Italian” movement. In Sonoma County, Atlas Peak, and McDowell Valley, vintners are discovering the potential of this varietal. Sangiovese has not entirely hit its stride in California, though there are some very good examples being produced.
In Europe, the best known Sangiovese is from Chianti. The grape is also a critical component of “Super Tuscan” wines when paired with Cabernet Sauvignon. Sangiovese is planted almost exclusively in Italy and Romania.