Central Italy is quite a bit simpler than either the north or the south when it comes to grape varieties, especially red grape varieties. Without a doubt, the primary red grape of central Italy is Sangiovese.
Sangiovese is the most planted grape variety in Italy overall, red or white. While it is grown in many regions of Italy, most is here in central Italy.
The map on the left below shows which regions focus most on Sangiovese. Darker colors indicate that Sangiovese is a higher percentage of that region’s grapes. As you can see, Tuscany is the heartland of Sangiovese. Two thirds of Tuscany’s vineyards are planted with Sangiovese. Much of the rest is in the neighboring regions of Emilia Romagna, Marche, and Umbria, along with Puglia in the south.
The other principal grape variety of central Italy is Montepulciano. Montepulciano is the second most planted red grape variety in Italy and is grown in every region, but its home is the Adriatic coast of central Italy, as shown above. The majority of Italy’s Montepulciano is in Abruzzo (again, the darker reds indicate higher proportions of each grape variety among the region’s vineyards) , along with the other Adriatic regions of Marche, Molise, and Puglia.
Now we’ll go region by region to talk about the denominations of central Italy that are most important on the world market.
Next topic: Emilia Romagna