Terroir 2010 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 What is the best soil for Sangiovese quality wine?

What is the best soil for Sangiovese quality wine?


Sangiovese is one of the main cultivar in the Italian ampelographic outline and it occupies more than 60% of total vineyard surface in the Tuscany region. It is also well known that the environmental variability causes an important influence over the viticultural and oenological results of Sangiovese, which does not have strict genetic control over the vegetal-productive behaviour.
The aim of this work was to single out the best soil characteristics for Sangiovese quality, on the basis of the vine performance of Sangiovese (VPS). For this purpose, a matching table, considering eight viticultural parameters, was utilized. The matching table permitted to classify the selected parameters into three classes of decreasing vine performance. A set of 79 experimental plots, sited on 47 farms, were utilized during a time span varying from two to five years (1989-1992; 1993-1994; 1997-2000; 2002-2007 and 2008-2009). Two datasets were created. One considering all the invariant soil and topography characteristics of the plots. The second, storing the year-depended variables. The data were submitted to principal component analysis (PCA) to highlight those invariant and year-depended climate and pedoclimate variables which were significantly correlated with the average values of the VPS of each vineyard. Discriminant Analysis was employed to identify the most significant variables and their discriminating power on VPS.
The results highlighted that invariant site characteristics are the most discriminant at the province level, while climate and pedoclimate show their influence on VPS at more detailed scales. At the province level, VPS is significantly influenced by rock fragments, stoniness, available water capacity (AWC), and elevation. The ideal soil for Sangiovese in the province of Siena is placed between 315 and 335 m asl, has an AWC ranging from 110 and 120 mm, shows a limited surficial stoniness of about 8-10%, and it is rather skeletal (rock fragments content 12-16%).
These results can be used in land evaluation and vine zoning, in particular, for the selection of the best crus of the province, they may help the choice of land for a new vine planting, but they might be also used in pedotechnique, that is, in the creation of vineyard soils by means of earth movements.



Publication date: December 3, 2021

Issue: Terroir 2010

Type: Article


P. Bucelli (1), R. Barbetti (1), G. L’Abate (1), S. Pellegrini (1), P. Storchi (2), E.A.C. Costantini (1)

(1) Agricultural Research Council. Research Centre for Agrobiology and Pedology – Piazza M. D’ Azeglio, 30 – 50121 Firenze, Italy
(2) Agricultural Research Council. Research Unite for Viticulture – SOP – Via Romea 53 – 52020 Arezzo, Italy

Contact the author


soil, climate, grape, red wine, Tuscany


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2010


Related articles…

Behaviour of two training systems for mechanical pruning combined with different nitrogen fertilizations on cv. Colombard

Today winegrowers involved in mechanical winter pruning are applying this viticultural technique on two main training systems, the free cordon, appearing to be the more efficient, and the trellised vertical shoot positioning (VSP) system. The main reasons for maintaining the trellis are generally due to common habits in vineyard management, risk of wind damage for the shoots, or risk of decrease in photosynthesis potential. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of the two training systems on vine. In addition, different nitrogen fertilization levels were applied on the two systems to evaluate the best combination to achieve yield and grape quality.

La zonazione viticola e i compiti dell’amministrazione regionale

Solo attraverso un adeguato intervento di estirpazione e reimpianto dei vigneti è possibile preservare, adeguare e valorizzare il patrimonio viticolo e le produzioni che da esso derivano.
Il reimpianto dei vigneti è pertanto da intendersi come una normale pratica agricola, alla pari della rimonta di stalla in campo zootecnico, ma può assumere toni problematici quando, come si verifica adesso in Toscana per una serie di circostanze legate alla profonda trasfor­mazione della viticoltura avvenuta negli ultimi 30 anni, troppi impianti giungono contem­poraneamente a fine ciclo produttivo e devono essere rinnovati.

Nitrogen uptake, translocation and YAN in berries upon water deficit in grapevines with contrasting stomatal sensitivity

Nitrogen (N2) is critical in grape berries, especially in organic wine making. After intake, N2 follows various metabolic and allocation routes and, from veraison, partly reallocates into berries. Water deficit affects the N2 nutrition due to a poor diffusion in soil solution and vascular mobilisation. Also, affects photosynthesis and the energy needed for metabolism, whose extent would depend on the stomatal sensitivity of the plant. We have assessed the effect of a moderate water deficit from pea size, in 3 years old field grown potted plants of Chardonnay (CH) and Cabernet Sauvignon (CS), differing in stomatal sensitivity, on the N2 status of plant parts. Water deficit reduced photosynthesis, leaf area and fresh and dry plant mass along the season, but up to a higher extent in CS.

Towards the definition of a detailed transcriptomic map of grape berry development

In the last years the application of genomic tools to the analysis of gene expression during grape berry development generated a huge amount of transcriptomic data


The wine market interest for autochthonous varieties, particularly from less known wine regions, has significantly raised in the past few years. In that context, Slovenia, a small country from central Europe with a long winemaking tradition, is getting more and more attention, particularly through its range of unique regional varieties. Among them, Zelen, meaning “green” in Slovene, can only be found in the Vipava valley region, located on the western side of the country, near the border with Italy. When they are young, Zelen wines display very singular aromas reminiscent of rosemary, sage and white fruit. Despite its uniqueness, Zelen wine aromatic typicality is poorly documented in the literature.