Morellino di Scansano is considered one of Italy’s most exciting, up-and-coming winemaking regions. Located in the south of Maremma, the DOCG is centered around the hilltop town of Scansano. The DOC was created in 1978, then in 2007 Morellino di Scansano was upgraded to a DOCG, the highest possible appellation status. The wine of this appellation must be at least 85% Sangiovese, which in this region is the Sangiovese clone called “morellino,” a reference to the slightly darker skin of the grape. Along with a few pioneering winemakers who staked out territory in the Maremma decades or centuries ago, Morellino di Scansano is now attracting northern Tuscany’s big names. It is quite a turnaround from the late 19th century, when the area was a mosquito-infested swampland. The Italian government drained the marshes in the early 20th century and the region now refers to itself as “the California of Italy” because grapes ripen well in the sun-drenched, maritime climate. Wines from this DOCG are known for softer tannins compared to some other Sangiovese-based wines, and are usually aromatic with hints of cherry and tobacco leaf.
This red grape is largely grown in central Italy. As the sole component or in a blend, it gives us Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino and Super Tuscans, among other favorites wines. The name is derived from the Latin for “blood of Jove.”