A well-known wine variety from Southern Tuscany, Morellino di Scansano is also one of the most important in statistical terms, with 1,500 hectares of registered Morellino vineyards between the Albegna and Ombrone Rivers, and 346 producers in the municipalities of Scansano, Campagnatico, Grosseto, Magliano in Toscana, Manciano, Roccalbegna and Semproniano. Production of Morellino ranges from 8 to 10 million bottles per annum, of which 75% is sold in Italy and the remaining 25% abroad, especially in Germany and the United States. It cannot boast the glorious history of other great Tuscan appellations, and was only granted official DOC status in 1978. Nevertheless, in the past 40 years, many Tuscan companies have been very attracted by this wine and have decided to invest in the region. Morellino is mainly produced from Sangiovese grapes, although other Tuscan-registered varieties are also permitted. The Castelli del Grevepesa cooperative also produce a Morellino called ‘Solatro‘, which forms part of their Castelgreve line and is chiefly made from Sangiovese grapes.
Access to the Tyrrhenian Sea has been a vital factor: both in the past and going into the future. After the Romans conquered this territory from the Etruscans, wine produced in what is now southern Tuscany was sent by sea to Marseille. Evidence of this was found in the wreckage of a ship off the coast of Marseille which, as the Consortium of Morellino website tells us (www.consorziomorellino.it): “contained a large number of wine amphorae marked with the letters SES, the initials of the powerful Roman Sestii family, traders and landowners in the area of Cosa, present-day Ansedonia”. And the future of this wine is also looking seawards, with its exploitation closely linked to the coastal tourism boom, which brings in millions of people and so potential “wine lovers” every year.