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Ciliegiolo grapes

by | Nov 17, 2016

Ciliegiolo is a popular variety of red wine grape which finds its roots in Italy. Interestingly, the name of this grape has been given after the term cherry.


This grape variety serves as a minor ingredient in a number of traditional blends one of which is Chianti. The interest of this red wine grape has been revived in the recent years during which has become successful in garnering a good recognition for itself.

In the region of Umbria, this grape variety is prepared into a quaffing and a light wine. On the contrary, in the region of Tuscany, the wines from this grape are prepared into bigger and more structural wines.

This variety of red wine grape underwent an obscurity in the past decades. However, today it is undergoing a renaissance in the region of Liguria as well as its spiritual place called Tuscany.

Ciliegiolo is now used on a wider scale in the preparation of a number of red wines of various western Italian DOCs that includes Coli di Luni, Chianti as well as lesser-recognized Colline di Levanto, Montecarlo, Val Polcevera as well as Golfo di Tiguilio.

The figures of varietal wines produced out of this variety of red wine grape have increased since the year 2000. As already stated, the name of this grape variety has been given after the popular fruit cherry.

This is because the color as well as aroma of this grape resembles that to cherry. This variety is one impressive variety of red wine grapes since it successfully retains its freshness as well as lively character.

This factor makes this grape variety as one of the most admirable and superior grape varieties since not many grapes are able to fetch this characteristic in their nature. This grape variety has given the world an excellent and admirable addition to the wines that would otherwise require cellaring.

Wine grape varieties

Today, this grapevine is abundantly grown in the regions of Tuscany and Umbria as well as Sicily, which entertains nontrivial plantings of this grape.

According to a study published in the year 2007, the DNA typing that was used in the study coined out that Ciliegiolo as well as Calberese di Montenuovo are the parents of the grape variety of Sangiovese.

However, this study was quashed immediately by another study that claimed that Ciliegiolo is not the parent, but the offspring of Sangiovese. The exact genetic relationship in between these varieties of grapes is still in question.

The plantation and cultivation of this grape variety is today carried out on an area of 5000 hectares in Italy. This figure, however has come to a steady decline today.

This grape variety is used today in the wine preparation of other wines such as ColliLucchesi, Torgiano Rosse Riserva, Colli di Luni, Chianti, Val di Cornia, Riserva and many more.

Ciliegiolo is addressed by a number of synonyms that include Riminese, Brunellone, Polveroso, Sangiovee, Bonechi and Criminese.


This variety of red wine grape finds its plantation in Italy. This grape was then imported to the region of central Tuscany from Spain in the year 1870. According to the traditional study of this grapevine, Ciliegiolo came to Italy from Spain.

However, the Florentine writer, Soderini described this grape variety a Ciregiuolo Dolce along with a long bunch resembling to large berry as well as a sweet fragrant flavor.

The history of this variety of red wine grape has not been documented so well like all the other grapevines, but a number of sources suggest that this wine grape has found its origin in Spain.

Wines with Ciliegiolo grapes


Since the name of this grape has been given after cherry, the aroma as well as the appearance of this grape is very similar to cherry.

Not only this, the size of the berries of this grape is also same as that of cherry.

The most remarkable feature about this grape variety is that it can be vinified into a number of styles – from light and easy wines to big and complex ones, this grape can be turned into various kinds of tasteful wines.

The acidity of this grape is very low, which is certainly a feather in its cap. Another remarkable thing about this grape is the wines produced out of this grape do not demand a long bottle aging.

They are drinkable in their younger version as well. The wines prepared out of this grape are ruby red in appearance, robust in nature as well as low in its alcoholic content.

Food pairing

The wines produced out of this variety of grape are paired best with a vegetable salad with pine nuts and raisins, pancakes as well as pupusa.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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