A grape variety unique in the world for its structure and longevity, the native Sagrantino grape variety tells the story of Umbria and the people who lived there. Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG is produced from the vine of the same name not only in Montefalco, but also in the Umbrian municipalities of Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, Giano dell'Umbria and Castel Ritaldi in the province of Perugia.
SPINNING BEAUTY, 25 YEARS, VALDIMAGGIO, COLLEPIANO: HOW EXCEPTIONAL WINES ARE BORN
With its medium-sized, blue-black berries, Sagrantino is one of the grapes with the highest content of polyphenols the world including the anthocyaninsresponsible for colouring ruby red violet of wine, ei tanninswhich are responsible for the structure and tannic typicality that this wine has in its DNA.
Traditionally produced in the passito version, nel 1992the Montefalco Sagrantino obtains recognition of the Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Originfor both the dry that for that passita. The production area of the Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG is an area from profile hills not far from Assisi, Foligno, Todi and Spoleto, with altitudesfromthe 220 and the 472 metres above sea level.Si is characterised, despite its limited extension, by different exposures and slopes, with average annual precipitation between 800 and 1100 mm, and by rare snowfalls.
FROM ROMAN TIMES TO THE MIDDLE AGES
According to some scholars, the origins of the Sagrantino go upbbero to Roman times. It is to it that he would refer Pliny the Elder in the passage from the Naturalis Historiae where he mentions grapes'Itriola' typical of Umbria and Bevagna and the Piceno area.
Others, however believe that some seeds ofi Sagrantino would come to the Montefalco area around the middle of 15th century, da Franciscan friars from Asia Minor.
There is no shortage of interpretations according to which would have been spread in medieval times by Byzantine monks from Greece.
It is however in the course of the Medioevo which, for theimportance del wine in the liturgy, the vine cultivation spreads nnot only in the countryside but also in monasteries and conventsso much so that according to some interpretations, the origin of the name Sagrantino may derive from fromthe circumstance of itsuse as wine in liturgical celebrations, hence'sacred' o"sagrantino'.
In the Middle Ages hencevineyards are one of the cornerstones around which people and communities organisegoestheir lives. This is demonstrated by the Church of San Bartolomeo, one of the oldest parishes in Montefalco dwhose trace is already in 1219, which in the external apsidal wall, presents, in addition to typical medieval motifsi, a single lancet window decorated with vine shoots and grapesi.
Added to this evidence are the numerous documents devoting particular attention to vines and grapes, today preserved in the Historical Archive of Montefalco.
In the Renaissance, Montefalco wine was known and appreciated as vino of meritso.
In 1451, the famous Florentine painter Benozzo Gozzolicalled by the Franciscans to fresco the apse of their church, now the Civic Museum of Montefalco, in the frescoes dedicated to the life of St Francispaints aa bottle of red wine on the banquet table of the Chevalier da Celano.
Ihe first document in which grapes"Sagrantina'. dates back to 1549.He is followed by a notebook by the Assisian notary Giovan Maria Nuti, dating back to 1598, which reports on the widespread custom in Foligno of mixing Sagrantino with musts to give them aroma and flavour.
The famous Itriola grape is also mentioned in the De naturali vinorum historia, de vinis Italiae and de convivis antiquorumfundamental work of the Italian Renaissance wine historypublished in 1595 byl physician and naturalistAndrea Bacciwhich defines it as particularly suited to Moscatelli's production, and it recalls their assiduous presence in the areas of Bevagna, Narni and Amelia.
Year after year, aqui viticulturesiiscerelevance in the rural economy, e municipal statutes begin to provide for prohibitions and sanctions to protect the cultivation of screws and productionby grapes. Cardinal Boncompagni, legate of Perugia, in 1622 aggravated the penalties already provided for in the statute by providing"[...] the penalty of the gallows if any person cuts the grape vine[...]".
THE CONTEMPORARY AGE AND THE RECOGNITION OF THE DOCG
The symbolic wine of Montefalco and the surrounding hills receives the award of the DOC on 30 October 1979 and the DOCG 5 November 1992under the name of Montefalco Sagrantino, marking two stages fundamentals in the recent development of the territory.
As early as 1829 the historian John Calindricites Montefalco at the top of the State for its viniat"Essay geographical, historical, statistical of the Papal Territory". Sagrantino is recognised as a grape variety of ancient cultivation in Umbria by the Ampelographic Commission of the Foligno district(Ministry Agriculture, Industry and Trade."Bulletin Ampelographic, 1879, XII, p. 34) and in 1893 by William Baldeschi ne"I grape varieties and wines of Umbria'..
In 1925, at the Umbria Wine Exhibition, Montefalco is defined as the most important wine-growing centre in the region, occupying first place in specialised vineyard cultivation with an average annual yield of 65 quintals of grapes per hectareconfirmingthe Sagrantino such as vine with tendentially modest yields.
In 1971 l'EDevelopment Authority of Umbria launches a experimental production by"wineSagrantino"and the following year the Cantina Cooperativa di Foligno startsatthe vinification of dry Sagrantino.
In 1973, the application for recognition of the Montefalco DOC was submitted and, after six years,the then Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry publishes the decree recognising the Denominazione di Origine Controllata(DOC) for Montefalco Rosso, e the Montefalco Sagrantino in S versionsecco and Passitofollowed by the recognition of the DOCG in 1992. l disciplinaryi calledno strict rules on environmental conditions and vineyard cultivation that give grapes and wines their unique characteristics
Sagrantino and Montefalco: the rediscovery of an area historically devoted to viticulture
CHARACTERISED BY BALANCE AND COMPLEXITY, SPICY TANNICITY
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VINE
The Sagrantino è a vine a late ripening, grapes with small, black berries, endowed with a thick skin rich in polyphenolsresistant to mould and parasite attack.
The complete ripening of tannins, first in the vineyard and then in the cellar, contributes to on the one hand to create an excellent balance and a complex perfumegiven by fruity, spicy and roasted notes, on the other to attenuatesre thepronounced tannicity.
The soils of the Montefalco Sagrantino production area are framed within the deposits of the south-eastern branch of the Tiber basin which occupies the Spoletana Valley, also known today as the Umbra Valley(Valleys of the Topino and the Maroggia).
The entire area of the Denomination is characterised by very heterogeneousi, dating back to the Pleistocene, where pebbly and sandy gravels, monogranular sands and clayey silts alternate. In general, the Sagrantino production area is characterised by soils of clay matrix.
The vine pdraws up breeding forms such as the spurred cordon and the guyot. The first consists of a permanent cordon with several spurs from which fruiting shoots grow. The second, on the other hand, has several fruiting shoots, which are renewed annually during the pruning season.
MONTEFALCO SAGRANTINO DOCG AND MONTEFALCO ROSSO DOC
Prince of Montefalco, Sagrantino has a intimate structure whose secret lies in the type and concentration of tanninwhich gives it a charismatic flavour. For this reasonhis grapes is used in purity to produce the famous Montefalco SagrantinoDOCGor, at assembly with other grape varieties, for theMontefalco RDOC bone.
As a young man the Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG is expressed in a colour colour very intense ruby red with violet hues, which with the progressiveageing turnsa in a dense garnet. By smell commonly refers toberries, more, prugne and leather that tie in perfectly to a light vanilla touchdatum dto barrel ageing. On the palate it is distinguished by a pronounced, warm and structured tannic strength.
In the raisin versionproduced in small quantities, the wine is ruby red colour with violet huessometimes garnets when agedon the nose with recognisable notes of blackberry and cocoa jam.