Sangiovese has a long history of being widely planted in Italy, particularly in Tuscany where it is used in Chianti production. The grape was brought to California by Italian settlers during the Gold Rush in the late 1800s. Amador County’s warm summer days and rocky shallow soils are well suited to the varietal but it is not without considerable attention and effort that we are able to craft a classic bottling. Terra d’Oro’s shallow topsoil helps prevent plant vigor; but nevertheless, Vineyard Manager Kevin Steward and his crew groom the Sangiovese vineyards two to three times after veraison, dropping clusters to minimize crop and increase concentration and color. Sangiovese’s reddish berries are notoriously thin skinned and highly susceptible to sunburn. Careful care is taken with trellising and irrigation to maintain a healthy canopy to shade the finicky fruit.
Aged 14 months in American oak barrels, 10% were “second fill” barrels, which provide a more subtle oakiness than new. This is well suited to Sangiovese, as it tends to soak up oak characters very easily. By using a small amount of gentle oak, it integrates more smoothly, keeping the focus on varietal character.
The Terra d’Oro Sangiovese is a beautiful wine with elegant and inviting aromas of sweet rosewater, exotic spices and subtle hints of raspberries. Rich flavors of candied cherry, red currant tea, allspice and white pepper coat the mouth and its complex tannic structure make for a round finish. The Sangiovese is light-bodied and offers bright acidity, making it the perfect food-friendly wine. For a zesty pairing, serve with marinated lamb kebobs.