Ciliegiolo [chiljedzjo´lo] is a red variety named after Italian word ciliegia – cherry, which also explains aromatic characteristics of the variety. This grape, together with Canailo and Colorino, is pretty much unknown to all except Italian wine fans. As other two mentioned above it is mostly used in blends with Sangiovese.
Depending on the cultivation area this, generally not an easy to grow grape, may also show a potential to be produced into varietal wines. In Umbria it is made into a light “everyday” wine, while in Tuscany it is made into a bigger more structured product. This kind of approach is also used by some Maremma estates near the coast.
Origins of the grape remain uncertain with someone claiming it came from Spain, but most of times it is considered to have Tuscan or nearby origins. DNA profiling has recently shown that Ciliegiolo together with Calabrese Montenuovo are the parents of Sangiovese.