Ancestor of Sangiovese Grape Found
The news that researchers have found the species of vine from which the famed Sangiovese originated was published during the international symposium on Sangiovese wine organized by Arsia (Tuscany's regional agency for agriculture) in Florence.
Many Tuscan wines, such as Brunello, Chianti, Carmignano and Nobile of Montepulciano are made from Sangiovese grapes. The discovery of Sangiovese's ancestors was reported by researcher José Vouillamoz of the agrarian institute San Michele All'Adige, who presented a report entitled 'Sangiovese's genetic relations'.
According to this research, Sangiovese's ancestors are Ciliegiolo and Calabrese Montenuovo. Ciliegiolo is an ancient vine species well known in Tuscany, while Montenuovo is a vine species that was rediscovered in a vineyard farm in Campania and cultivated from a sample of a dozen originals. This grape species is not registered in the official roll of vine species, the researcher said.
When vines were DNA tested, researchers were surprised by the results. They analyzed 50 DNA genes strands and the result was that Sangiovese consists of half Ciliegiolo genes and half Calabrese Montenuovo genes.
The researchers promise to study in depth Calabrese Montenuovo.