Italian Wine Regions - Quattrocalici

Republic of San Marino

Table of Contents for the Republic of San Marino Region

The Republic of San Marino Wine Region

The Territory of the Republic of San Marino

San Marino is a tiny state located within the Italian territory, at the border between the regions of Emilia-Romagna (province of Rimini ) and Marche (province of Pesaro and Urbino ). San Marino is one of the oldest republics in the world. Its namesake capital is located on the slopes of Mount Titano and is famous for its medieval old town surrounded by walls and cobbled streets. On the three peaks of the mountain there are three towers, forts dating from the eleventh century. The Republic of San Marino has an area of 61.19 km² and a population of 33,328 inhabitants.

The history of viticulture in the Republic of San Marino

The first evidence of the culture lives in San Marino dates back to the period from 400 to 700 AD. At that time the small community living on the slopes of Monte Titano was mainly focused on agriculture and shepherding. The importance of vines was first recognized around the thirteenth century.  As reported in the statutes dated 1352-53, the vineyards were protected by law and anyone who caused damage was sentenced to fines. The statutes of 1600 indicate the works to be carried out in the vineyards and the penalties for watered ine dealers. The first Land Registry of the Republic of San Marino dates back to 177 . Among others, for the first time a surface of 600 ha. was reported, of which 150 of vineyard and the remaining as arable land and olive grove. In fact within the vineyards were always present olive and fruit trees. The most common were Canino bianco, Biancale, Trebbiano, Moscatello nero and bianco, Aleatico, Albana and Sangiovese. The prevalent training method for vine growing at the time was the low sapling, at the height of about two feet off the ground, or alternatively the vines were “married” to maples. The San Marino wines began with the time to spread outside of the neighboring regions, coming to be present on the tables up to Venice. The center of trade of the Republic of San Marino was concentrated in Borgo Maggiore, where there the most important wineries were located, favored by the presence of caves wedged in the bowels of the mountain, where the wines acquired a pleasant taste. The most popular wines were the Sangiovese and white wines of great value, including the famous “Moscato San Marino“, produced by some growers of Borgo. The tourists coming up from Rimini to San Marino on carriages and horses did stop at the “caves”, resting and refreshig with the typical local wines which were also sold to the public on market days. The overall production of wine reached at the end of the century the significant amount of 20,300 “some” (1 San Marino soma corresponded to 75 lt.). The first significant International recognition for San Marino wine were obtained between 1878 and 1890 at the Exposition Universelle de Paris, where the San Marino producers received silver and bronze medals for Sangiovese and some fine white wines .

The Wines of San Marino

Today San Marino counts on about 200 ha. vineyards, divided into 574 units. The vines are arranged at an average altitude ranging from 100 to 400 meters above sea level, planted for 65% with black berry grapes. The most important grape is Sangiovese, followed by Aleatico, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvigno. Among the white grape varieties, the Biancale (Biancame or Bianchello) is the most cultivated, followed by native vines of San Marino, Cargarello and Canino bianco. There are also Moscato bianco, Albana and Ribolla grapes (so is Pignoletto named in Sam Marino).

The wine legislation of San Marino

In 1974 the San Marino government began a major clonal selection work for the recovery of native wine heritage and starting its propagation in new vineyards. Wine growers were aware of the importance of such recovery and joined forces to create the Consorzio dei vini tipici (Consortium for Typical Wines) founded in 1976. From that year several laws and decrees became the official basics of viticulture in the Republic of San Marino. The law 31 October 1986 n. 127, on viticulture and wine production, saw the light after 12 years of research and experimentation, being the tool that enabled the enhancement of San Marino wine production. This Act established a Trademark of Source Identification, in the form of a label applied to the neck of the bottles for wines produced in accordance with the rules for product specification. Furthermore, the same specification provides controls that cover the entire wine processing cycle, starting from the vineyard to the final product. These checks are performed by technical and operational organs of the State, to guarantee the production and consumer protection.

The Wine Producers of the Republic of San Marino Region

Consorzio Vini Tipici San Marino