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Wine from Calabria

Calabria is one of Italy's most suitable regions for viticulture. Vines have been grown here for thousands of years and were already present before the Greek colonisation of southern Italy began. The region consists of a long, narrow peninsula, washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the east. The climate is typically Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot, dry summers, always very windy and mitigated by sea breezes. The mountainous conformation of the Apennine ridge offers vast hilly and foothill areas, perfect for quality viticulture. The presence of a rich environmental biodiversity, with large areas that are still untouched and others protected by National Parks, has preserved an uncontaminated nature. Here there is an important heritage of native vines that have developed a perfect relationship with the land over the centuries. Precisely because of these special soil and climatic conditions, Calabrian wines are distinguished by their originality and ability to authentically express the characteristics of the place of production. Absolutely immune to the standardisation of globalised international taste, they represent the authentic face of the terroir.

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Calabria is one of Italy's most suitable regions for viticulture. Vines have been grown here for thousands of years and were already present before the Greek colonisation of southern Italy began. The region consists of a long, narrow peninsula, washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the east. The climate is typically Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot, dry summers, always very windy and mitigated by sea breezes. The mountainous conformation of the Apennine ridge offers vast hilly and foothill areas, perfect for quality viticulture. The presence of a rich environmental biodiversity, with large areas that are still untouched and others protected by National Parks, has preserved an uncontaminated nature. Here there is an important heritage of native vines that have developed a perfect relationship with the land over the centuries. Precisely because of these special soil and climatic conditions, Calabrian wines are distinguished by their originality and ability to authentically express the characteristics of the place of production. Absolutely immune to the standardisation of globalised international taste, they represent the authentic face of the terroir.

History and Territory

The origins of Calabrian wine are very ancient. The region was part of ancient Enotria, a land that included the regions of Calabria, Basilicata and Campania, inhabited since the 11th century BC by people of Indo-European origin, most likely from Greece. The name Enotria derives from the Greek word οἶνος, or ''wine'', underlining the ancient calling of this area to viticulture. During the Greek migrations of the 8th century BC, the city of Krimisa, today's Cirò, was founded, as well as many other commercial ports along the Calabrian coast, including Sibari, Crotone, Locri and Metauros. The Greek colonists enhanced the local traditions, associated with the first domestication of the vine, with their knowledge and experience in the field of vineyard management and alberello tree pruning. This approach is still used today in all Mediterranean countries with a hot, dry climate. The tradition of wine-growing then spread widely in Roman times and survived in later centuries within monasteries, where vines were kept alive for liturgical use, and in the countryside, with vinification taking place in ancient millstones dug out of the rock. After the crisis caused by the devastation of phylloxera at the end of the 19th century, Calabria completely restored its vineyards with American vine grafts as foundations for the native vines. Unlike other Italian regions, where many varieties from France were introduced during this period, Calabria proved rather resistant to the internationalisation trend in vineyards, remaining essentially faithful to its ancient native vines. Although spread over almost the entire region, Calabrian wine growing has been concentrated in two particular areas. Along the Tyrrhenian coast, vineyards are cultivated on terraces overlooking the sea and climb towards the first foothills of the mountain ranges. This is an area that offers splendid sunny exposures and considerable temperature ranges between the hot temperatures of the day and the nights cooled by the winds that descend from the mountains. On the Ionian coast, on the other hand, vine cultivation has developed mainly in a vast area of hilly hinterland stretching from the towns of Cirò to Le Castelle.


Native Calabrian Vines

Calabria has a vast heritage of native grape varieties, which are still cultivated today to produce the region's most important wines. In all likelihood, these are ancient varieties that originated from the vines introduced by the first Greek settlers who arrived in this land. Among the white grapes, the Mantonico, which gives intense, complex and long-lived wines, the Greco di Bianco, mainly used to produce passito wines, the white Pecorello, the white Guarnaccia, the Malvasia and the Guardavalle stand out. Among the most important red grapes is Gaglioppo, born from a cross between Mantonico and Sangiovese, which is used to produce the famous Cirò Rosso wine. Other significant red grapes are Magliocco, Magliocco Canino, Greco Nero, Nerello and Castiglione. For several years now, the Librandi winery, one of the most important in the region, has been conducting valuable research, cataloguing ancient varieties present in the old vineyards and selecting clones of Gaglioppo, in order to create an increasingly complete picture of the region's ampelographic landscape.


Calabrian Wines

The wines of Calabria, famous since ancient times for their excellent quality, have experienced a real rebirth in recent decades. As has happened in many regions of southern Italy, for a long time it was sold on tap for blending. It was used to give colour and structure to light, low-alcohol reds from northern Europe or northern Italy. Today, fortunately, the situation has completely changed and there are many wineries that bottle their wine directly. Improvements from an agricultural point of view, the decision to increase the density of plantings and the reduction of yields have made it possible to obtain high quality grapes used to produce great wines. This region has already achieved important milestones, but has considerable room for improvement, which will allow it to develop further in the near future.

Discover the finest wines of Calabria and buy them at the best prices on the Callmewine store. Whether whites, reds or passito, this range of excellent wines offers excellent value for money. Choose your favourite wines and receive them safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home.