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Sagrantino Is not Sangiovese

Arnoldo Caprai Winery's Sagrantino

Arnoldo Caprai Winery’s Sagrantino

In our second book, A Wine Tourist Guide Visiting Tasting Rooms, we wrote a chapter about wine misconceptions and myths. Arnoldo Caprai Winery in Montefalco, Italy sent  us two misconceptions that plagues their tasting room. Many visitors believe Montefalco is in Toscana (Tuscany) when it is really in Umbria. The region Umbria does share a border with the region Toscana. The other misconception deals with the grape Sagrantino, perhaps the signature grape of  the Umbria region. It is believed by some visitors that Sagrantino is just another name for Sangiovese, the main red grape of  Toscana. However, the two grapes are completely different with totally different profiles.

Consorzio Montefalco will be present at this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning, New York. The organization was formed in 1981 to promote the Sagrantino grape. Consorzio Montefalco will be showcasing DOC and DOCG wines from Umbria at the conference. Promoting Sagrantino is a challenge in the United States. It is unknown to many wine enthusiasts. Kathy and I first learned of Sagrantino from the owner of Firelands Winery,

Claudio Salvador. The winery is located in Sandusky, Ohio. Claudio’s wife and brother own wineries in Italy. Claudio is also involved with distributing wine from Italy. One of those wines was a Sagrantino from Umbria.

Claudio poured  a Sagrantino for tasting. I knew after my first taste of Sagrantino that this would be one of my favorite wines. The darker color should have been an indication that Sagrantino is not Sangiovese. I love wines that have outrageous tannins. Sagrantino delivers what I have call “kissing tannins,” a reference to puckering your lips. Sagrantino is food friendly and matches many Italian dishes. Perhaps the Wine Bloggers Conference will give wine bloggers, new to this varietal grape, a voice to inform their readers about this grape from Umbria.


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