Sangiovese is a variety of Italian red grapes that are grown and used to produce hundreds of different red wines, amongst which some of the most prestigious and expensive wines in Italy. Among the many wines produced with Sangiovese grapes are Sangiovese, Chianti
and renowned Brunello di Montalcino
label. Sangiovese has been known to have existed at least since the 16th century.
The origins of the name Sangiovese is uncertain. Some sources attribute the name as derivative of the name "Sangiovannese", claiming the grapes are originally from the area of San Giovanni Valdarno, in Tuscany. In popular culture, it is generally thought that sangiovese derives from "sanguegiovese", which comes from "sangue di Giove", meaning "blood of Jupiter", as the grapes are thought to come from Monte Giove (Mount Jupiter), in Emilia-Romagna
The correct pronunciation of Sangiovese is sahn-joh-veh-seh
When pronouncing Sangiovese, it is important to keep a few rules of Italian pronunciation in mind. First of all, the "g" is pronounced as a soft "g", which is to say with a "j" sound. This is due to the fact that if the "g" is followed by an "i", it is always pronounced as a soft "g". Second, the vowels are generally pronounced as short vowels, which means that they are not pronounced as you would pronounce the names of the letters in English. This means that the "a" is pronounced with an "ah" sound, the "o" is pronounced with an "oh" sound and most crucially, the "e"s are both pronounced with an "eh" sound. The pronunciation of "e" as "eh" is particularly important because, often, English speakers pronounce the Italian "e" with an "ei" sound. Mastering how you pronounce the "e" in Italian words is a first and important step to reaching a fluent Italian pronunciation and a good pronunciation of Sangiovese.