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Great Northwest Wine: Popular Italian wine grape gains ground in state vineyards

May 08, 2014

Sangiovese, Italy's most-planted grape variety, is gaining a toehold with Washington winemakers. The red grape, most famous in Italy's Chianti Classico, Montepulciano and Montalcino regions, will never be a major variety in Washington, but it is the state's sixth-most-important red variety, after Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Last fall, Washington winemakers crushed 1,300 tons of Sangiovese, up from just 500 tons as recently as 2004.