Sagrantino [Sah-Grawn-Tea-noh]

Sagrantino is an Italian grape variety that is indigenous to the region of Umbria in Central Italy, and makes some of that region's most distinctive wines.

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 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.

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. Sagrantino is of excellent storability.

The younger drinking and more affordable Montefalco Rosso usually contains about 10-15% sagrantino, up to 70 percent sangiovese and other grapes in the blend.

A passito is still made, a thick, syrupy wine with raisin and blueberry qualities. The alcohol content is around 14 percent. For more information on Sagrantino di Montefalco, please visit

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