For some people its origins are identified in the “itriola”, a precious grape of which Pliny the Elder talks about; for other ones this vineyard could have been imported from Spain by first San Francesco’s followers. Of course, since year 1000, as shown by some documents more and more frequent, this wine assumed a bic economic and social importance, becoming an high-profile product of these lands, so much that it was considered a prestigious gift for princes and popes.
About its name origin , there’s who make it come from this sweet raisin wine use during the church – from which sacred wine or sagrantino. It also could have popular origin, as party wine drinking during festivals.
Even if actually in the Sagrantino is prevailing the dry version, this wine was born as a sweet one. One time indeed was being produced only in the raisin wine type, consequently obtained by grapes drying on wood racks. This manufacturing technology was particularly indicated for the Sagrantino grapes, which can be dry for months without rotting, keeping for a long time its sugary feature. In the 1960s the raisin wine tradition seemed forgotten, restricted to a very limited production, almost exclusively domestic: it was the Sagrantino dry idea to relaunch this vineyard, starting from the first harvest in the 1972 with this kind of winemaking.
In 1979 the Montefalco Sagrantino was recognized as wine DOC, while in 1992 became the 12th Italian wine to receive the DOCG and it’s still considered one of the Italian wine flags in the world.
The Sagrantino gives origin to a dark ruby red wine characterized by fruity and spicy aromas, well structured, enriched and by the incomparable tannins. In the raisin wine version gives us wines of special intensity and complexity, where its sweetness perfectly equalizes its harder natural components. It lends itself very well to a long aging.
If you are visiting this area to taste good wines, you must visit Montefalco village: its position, just distant but at the same time dominant regarding the nearby Via Flamina, allowed it to be an important cultural reference for close towns. Some trails left by artists as Perugino, Benozzo Gozzoli, Francesco Melanzio are evidence of this.