It has been one of those years in which, if I didn't have any photographs,…
This is the Sangiovese grosso. Some think this grape has been cultivated since Etruscan times.
Yesterday we drove south to the Montalcino where the the Sangiovese grosso is raised specifically for the Brunello wine produced by Cantine Leonardo DaVinci. We visited a hill side grower. His vines line the slopes above the Sant’Antimo abbey. On the hill across the valley are thousand year old terraces planted in moody olives.
Giovanvettorio Soderini first wrote about the Sangiovese grosso in 1590, noting that the grape is delicate and that the wine maker can make a mess of it very easily. It wasn’t for another three hundred years before the Sangiovese grosso was grown more widly in Tuscany. It wasn’t until the 1970s that wine makes began using it in larger productions, particularly the chiantis and now the Brunello.
This morning, we will be in the vinyards harvesting Sangiovese grapes. I have a feeling this will not quite be the slave-driving operation I put myself through with Bosnian refugees on the vinyard slopes of Vaud, Switzerland twenty years ago.