Calabria, mainland Italy’s southern tip, has a gorgeous climate, small picturesque towns, and a beautiful coastline. Although the region’s wines are not as well-known as others, they enjoyed fame and prestige since the time of the ancient Greeks.
The southern region has incredible food: the fruit is bountiful, the cheese flavourful and rich, the sardines, the sausages, it’s all delicious. It comes as no surprise the wine is so pleasant. Where there’s good food, there’s a terrific wine. Here’s all you wanted to know about the wines of Calabria.
The Toe of the Boot
Calabria is a large Peninsula surrounded on three sides by water. An extensive mountain range runs through the region’s spine. The coastline is crowned with impressive towns built over steep cliffs, and it’s also in the seashores where you’ll discover the finest wine.
The region covers 15,080km2 (5,822sqmi) and is home to over two million people. Winters can be snowy, averaging 8 °C (46 °F) but the summers are quite warm with temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F), particularly in the east coast where wine grapes ripen to their fullest potential.
History in the Making
Cradle of the Italian civilisation, the early Greeks to arrive in Italy settled in Calabria; we’re talking around the year 1500 BC.
Many cultures found value in these sun-drenched lands, the Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, and the Spanish have called Calabria home at some point in time. Today, it’s tourists that invade the rustic countryside every summer.
Calabria’s wines have a fascinating history too, a local wine made with Gaglioppo grapes, now labelled Cirò, was gifted to the first Olympic victors; it was that good! (And it still is).
The grapes and the wines
Although there are nine DOC protected wines, a handful of IGTs, and around ten popular grape varieties, the best wine in Calabria is identified as Cirò.
Cirò Bianco is based on the Greco Bianco grape brought by the first Greek settlers.
Try the Scala Cirò Bianco DOC for a dry, refreshing white with floral aromas and a crisp aftertaste. Scala Cirò Rosato DOC is thirst-quenching and summer-scented too.
Red Cirò is made with the famous Gaglioppo variety, and you’ll find it in distinct qualities, including Rosso, Superiore, and Riserva. The Classico version, made only around the town called Cirò, is one of the most beautiful renditions of the acclaimed redgrape.
Enjoy the retro-looking Scala Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore DOC “Etichetta Storica” that shows black fruits, and a concentrated palate. The Scala Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva DOC “Durì” is also superb, and the most authentic example of Gaglioppo – elegance, balance, and finesse with a deep fruit core.
The wine of champions
Drink the wine of the Olympic champions and feel the essence of the warm Calabrian air freshened by the Mediterranean sea breeze.
Calabrian wine might not be the most famous, but it sure is some of the best. A hidden gem for wine lovers who enjoy authentic wines with a rich in history.