Planting a new vineyard and clonal selection

As reported in our latest newsletter, we are about to plant a new Sangiovese vineyard. We put a lot of thought into the clones to be planted, since, of course, these vines will be with us for the next 30, 40, 50 years. (A clone, by the way, is a single plant derived from another plant without fertilization or asexual reproduction. The clone is exactly identical in every way to the mother plant.

It is to be contrasted with “mass selection,” which is what we are doing with our very old vines, but that is a story for next time). Sangiovese has, at last count, the highest number of clones recognized in the Italian National Register (only 102!) and each offers different phenological and enological characteristics. The decision is often difficult, but the idea is to choose the clone best suited to our “place” and to the style and quality of wines we want to produce at Montecalvi.

After long discussions between winemaker and winegrower, we decided on F9 and R24. Clone F9 is a local clone, originating from Lamole, and is known for its classic character, high quality and moderately light color. R24 or Rauscedo 24 comes from Emilia-Romagna and is prized for its ruby-red hues and floral and earthy aromas and flavors.