Calabria is one of Italy’s 20 administrative regions. It occupies the toe of the Italian ‘boot’. Calabria is bordered to the north by Basilicata, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea and to the east by the Ionian Sea.
Political geography | Capital city Catanzaro (CZ). Provinces Cosenza (CS); Catanzaro (CZ); Crotone (KR); Reggio Calabria (RC); Vibo Valentia (VV).
History | The Greeks called the peoples inhabiting these lands Enotri, for their care and skill in the cultivation of the vine. The Greeks helped improve growing methods, and Calabrian towns such as Sibari, Crotone, and Locri were areas of great wine production.
Vineyard area | Grapevines account for only 3% of the total agricultural products coming from the region, with about 25,000 hectares of vineyards.
Terroir | The terrain is 42% mountainous, 50% hilly, and 8% flat. The climate is Mediterranean and influenced by the Thyrrhenean and the Ionian seas that bathe the region. Differently from the mainstream Mediterranean weather, the Sila mountainous area presents continental weather patterns. Rainfall is abundant in the interior and very scarce in the lowlands and on the coast. For many years Calabria has provided blending wines for both Italian and foreign manufacturers, since neutral wines of intense colour and high alcohol characterised its production content. More recently the situation has changed for the better and the region can boast many good, ever-improving wines.
Wine grapes | The most cultivated vine is Gaglioppo, present in most red wines of Calabria. Other red varieties include: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Magliocco Canino, Nocera and Greco Nero. Red grape varieties account for about 80% of production. The most common white grapes in the region are: Greco Bianco, Guarnaccia, Malvasia Bianca, Trebbiano Toscano and Mantonico.
Wine regions | In Cosenza province the areas of Pollino and Verbicaro are located, once autonomous DOC and now incorporated in the Terre di Cosenza DOC. Further south, in Crotone province, important areas include Cirò DOC, Savuto DOC and Val di Neto IGT. In these areas, Gaglioppo is usually the main red grape used. In the far south, in Reggio Calabria province, is the Greco di Bianco DOC, a dessert wine produced in the town of Bianco from Greco Bianco grapes.
IGT/IGP (1) | IGP Calabria.
DOC (9) The first DOC was Cirò in 1969, followed by Donnici, Pollino and Savuto in 1975 and others. | Bivogni DOC. | Cirò DOC. | Greco di Bianco DOC. | Lamezia DOC. | Melissa DOC. | S Anna di Isola Capo Rizzato DOC. | Saluto DOC. | Scavigna DOC. | Terre di Cosenza DOC.
Vineyard area & wine production | Data to follow.
Certified organic | Masseria Falvo 1727.
Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p.550.