by Fred McMillin
for June 8, 1998

Sangiovese Goes West


In Italy, the Sangiovese grape is the mainstay of the country's best-known wine, Chianti. In California, Sangiovese ripens easily, thanks to the state's sunny climate, and offers bright, forward fruit, with aromas and flavors veering toward raspberry and cherry.

...Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast

The Rest of the Story

We are in the middle of a Sangiovese surge; here are the tons crushed in California:

1987 - 8
1994 - 1,703
1995 - 2,253
1996 - 4,135
1997 - 7,163

You can get aboard the surge for only $10. Forest Glen has just released its first Sangiovese, a 1996. Winemaker Ed Moody has treated it very gently to preserve those cherished berry flavors. He added a touch of spice and vanilla with 10 months in French and American oak.

The Wine

1996 Sangiovese, California
Forest Glen Winery, Sonoma County, Ca.
Alcohol Content—Consistent with the emphasis on easy drinkability, alcohol is a moderate 12.5%.
Rating—RECOMMENDED in its price range.
Price—$10 range
Contact—Rusty Eddy, (707) 462-7196


What wine pioneer brought the first Sangiovese vines to the USA? A leading Italian-American like Robert Mondavi? No. Those first vines were planted in 1807 by none other that the President of the United States. His name was Thomas Jefferson!
Note: Statistics courtesy Gladys Horiuchi, Wine Institute.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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