Italy’s Most Underrated Red Wine – Montefalco Sagrantino

Italy is renowned for producing some of the world’s most exquisite red wines, but amongst the sea of Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino and Barolo, one hidden gem often goes unnoticed – Montefalco Sagrantino wine. This rich and robust wine hailing from the heart of Umbria has quietly been gaining recognition as Italy’s best-kept secret.

With its deep ruby color, intense flavors, and tantalizing aromas, Montefalco Sagrantino wine boasts a unique profile that sets it apart from other Italian reds. From ancient vineyards nestled amidst picturesque hills to centuries-old, winemaking techniques and traditions passed down through generations, this article will delve into the captivating story behind Italy’s most underrated red wine – Montefalco Sagrantino.

Where does the Sagrantino Grape Grow

This grape varietal is primarily grown in the region of Umbria, Italy. More specifically, it is most commonly found in the sub-region of Montefalco, which is renowned for its production of Sagrantino wines. The unique and favorable climate conditions in this area, characterized by hot summers and mild winters with a significant temperature variation between day and night, provide an ideal environment for the cultivation of this grape variety and production of its wine.

Sagrantino vineyards in Central Italy

Aside from Umbria, there are also some limited plantings of Sagrantino outside of Italy. In recent years, a few vineyards have been established in countries such as Australia and Argentina. However, these international vineyard plantings are still relatively small compared to the extensive cultivation seen within Italy.

While the Sagrantino grape can be found in the vines in select regions outside of Italy, its heartland remains Umbria’s Montefalco area. The local terroir and climate play a crucial role in producing exceptional wines from this unique grape variety.

Montefalco Sagrantino Passito docg

The world of Italian wines is a treasure trove of unique flavors and traditions, and at the heart of it lies the Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG wine. This luscious wine, made from the rare Sagrantino grape, boasts a rich history dating back to ancient times when it was used in religious rituals. With its intense aromas of ripe fruit, orange peel, hints of chocolate, and a velvety texture, this passito-style wine intrigues the palate with its complex profile.

What sets Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG wine apart is its meticulous production process. The grapes are left to dry for several months after harvest, concentrating their sugars and intensifying their flavors.

This results in a luxurious and well-balanced wine that captures the essence of Montefalco’s terroir. As you savor a glass of this exquisite wine elixir, you can’t help but appreciate the centuries-old winemaking traditions that have culminated in this remarkable expression of elegance and sophistication.

Montefalco sagrantino Secco

Montefalco Sagrantino Secco, a unique and esteemed Italian wine, is made from the indigenous Sagrantino grape variety in the Montefalco region of Umbria. Known for its intense flavor profile and deep, rich color, this wine offers a complex bouquet of dark fruits, spices, and earthy undertones. Unlike its sweet wine counterpart, Sagrantino Passito, which is made from dried grapes and exhibits lusciously sweet wine flavors, the Sagrantino Secco presents a dry, full-bodied experience with firm tannins from the grape skins that demands attention.

The strict regulations surrounding the production of Montefalco Sagrantino Secco wine contribute to its exclusivity and quality. With a mandatory aging period of 37 months before release (12 of which must be spent in large oak barrels), this traditional winemaking process results in an exquisite product that embodies both tradition and innovation. This bold red wine has gained international acclaim for its ability to evolve beautifully over time as it matures in the bottle. Its potential for aging makes it a captivating choice for wine enthusiasts seeking depth and complexity in their collection.


Australia is not typically known for growing the Sagrantino grape, as it is primarily cultivated in central Italy. However, there have been some recent experimental plantings of this variety in certain regions of Australia. The warm climate and dry conditions found in areas such as McLaren Vale and Heathcote make them suitable for growing Sagrantino grapes. These regions are known for producing bold red wines, and the addition of Sagrantino adds another layer of complexity to their offerings.

Although still relatively rare, Australian winemakers are beginning to embrace this lesser-known grape variety and explore its potential. The unique combination of Australian terroir and the characteristics of the Sagrantino grape result in wines produced that showcase rich flavors, intense tannins very good acidity, and a distinct sense of place. As producers in these vineyards continue to experiment with cultivation techniques specific to this grape, it will be interesting to see how it develops within Australia’s wine industry.

Its ability to adapt well to warmer climates provides winemakers with an exciting opportunity to create distinctive wines that reflect both Italian heritage and Australian terroir. With continued experimentation and refinement, Australian Sagrantino wines may become sought-after gems for wine enthusiasts looking for something unique yet familiar at the same time.


The Sagrantino grape, known for its bold and robust character, primarily grows in the region of Umbria, Italy. However, the cultivation of this unique grape variety has also begun to gain some traction in the United States. In recent years, a handful of top producers and winemakers in California have started experimenting with growing Sagrantino grapes to produce their own distinctive wines.

The Mediterranean-like climate and diverse soil composition found in certain parts of California make it an ideal location for cultivating Sagrantino grapes. The warm days and cool nights provide optimal conditions for the fruit to ripen slowly and develop its intense flavors for this special wine. Some regions within the state of California that have shown promise for growing Sagrantino include Paso Robles, Napa Valley, and Sonoma County.

What do Sagrantino wines taste like

Sagrantino wines, primarily produced in the Umbria region of Italy, boast a unique and distinct flavor profile. These wines are known for their deep ruby color and intense fruit driven aromas of dark berries, black cherry, and sometimes blackberry and black plum together. On the palate, Sagrantino wines typically exhibit a full-bodied nature with high tannins that provide structure and longevity.

One can expect bold flavors from Sagrantino wines, often characterized by notes of blackberry jam, dark chocolate, tobacco leaf, herbs and hints of spices like cinnamon or cloves. The high acidity in these wines adds freshness and balance to their robust character. With age, Sagrantino wines tend to start to develop complex tertiary flavors such as leather or earthy oak undertones.

Food Pairing of Sagrantino Wine

Due to their rich tannins and pronounced flavor profile, Sagrantino wines pair exceptionally well with hearty dishes like grilled meats or aged cheeses. The wine’s strong presence on the palate can hold up against intense flavors while complementing them with its own depth.

Whether enjoyed young or tasted after a few years of aging to soften the tannins further, Sagrantino offers an intriguing tasting experience that captures the essence of Italian winemaking tradition.

Great dishes to have with Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG

Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, with its bold, tannic structure and intense flavors, pairs beautifully with rich and hearty dishes. One outstanding option is to savor this wine alongside a succulent slow-cooked lamb shank.

The robust flavors of the meat complement the wine’s strong tannins while enhancing its earthy undertones. Another delightful pairing with sweet wines is a classic Italian dish like wild boar ragu served over pappardelle pasta. The deep, gamey flavors of the wild boar harmonize with the wine’s rich palate, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

For those with a sweet tooth, Montefalco Sagrantino passito is an excellent choice to enjoy alongside dessert. Its sweetness and complex aromas perfectly complement decadent chocolate truffles or a rich flourless chocolate cake.

The wine’s luscious texture and notes of dried fruits elevate the indulgent flavors of the dessert while providing a satisfying finish to any meal. Whether you prefer savory or sweet courses, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG offers versatile options for elevating your dining experience.

Best Montefalco Sagrantino Wines for a Wine enthusiast

Montefalco Sagrantino wines are a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by wine enthusiasts. The rich and intense flavors of Sagrantino grapes create bold and complex red wines that are truly a delight to savor. The Arnaldo caprai winery stands

Tenuta Castelbuono – Carapace Montefalco Sagrantino 2018

The Tenuta Castelbuono Carapace Montefalco Sagrantino 2018 is a highly acclaimed red wine that showcases the incredible potential of the Sagrantino grape in the Montefalco region of Italy. With its deep ruby color and intense aromas of ripe blackberries, plums, and spices, this wine immediately captivates the senses. On the palate, it delivers a rich and full-bodied experience with velvety tannins and flavors of dark fruits, chocolate, earth and hints of tobacco. The well-integrated acidity adds freshness to the wine, while its long and persistent finish leaves a lasting impression.

Crafted by renowned winemaker Marco Caprai at the Arnaldo Caprai family’s estate, Tenuta Castelbuono, this Carapace Montefalco Sagrantino 2018 represents the epitome of quality winemaking in Umbria. The winery was founded by Arnaldo Caprai and passed on to his son Marco Caprai.

The grapes are carefully hand-harvested from select vineyards on the estate’s hilly slopes and undergo a meticulous fermentation process followed by aging in French oak barrels for 18 months.

Adanti Il Domenico Montefalco Sagrantino 2009

The Adanti Il Domenico Montefalco Sagrantino 2009 is a wine that truly embodies the essence of the Sagrantino grape. This red wine hails from the Montefalco region in central Italy, where the vineyards are bathed in warm sunlight and nurtured by a Mediterranean climate. The result is a bold and robust red wine, that exudes complexity and depth.

In terms of appearance, the Adanti Il Domenico Montefalco Sagrantino 2009 boasts a deep ruby color that hints at its intensity. On the nose, it offers an enticing bouquet of ripe blackberries, dark cherries, and hints hint of spice. These aromas carry through to the palate, where they are joined by notes of leather, tobacco, and earthy undertones.

What sets this particular vintage apart is its exceptional aging potential. While it can certainly be enjoyed now with decanting or pairing with hearty dishes like roasted meats or aged cheeses, it will continue to evolve and develop even more complexity over time. With its firm tannins and well-balanced acidity, this wine has all the makings of a true gem in any connoisseur’s collection.

Hi, my name is Christina Day, and I am a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur. It is my favorite alcoholic drink, and I enjoy nothing better than kicking back on the sofa after a long week of work to enjoy a glass of wine… or two!

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