Picturesque coasts, azure sea, massive mountains and fertile valleys: wine from Calabria grows in one of the most scenic areas of Italy.
Calabria: Wine from the comeback region
After viticulture in Calabria had become almost internationally insignificant in the 20th century, the region has been experiencing a successful comeback for some years now. Get to know the wine from the boot top of Italy now.
Calabria - short & sweet
Calabria is a traditional wine region in the very south of Italy. It lies directly opposite Sicily. Red varieties grow on 90 percent of the cultivated area. Wine growing was brought to Calabria by the Greeks and was further intensified by the Romans. The region is famous for full-bodied red wines such as Cirò and white wines such as Greco Bianco, which are mainly produced from local grape varieties.
Location, geography and climate of the Calabria wine region
Calabria is the southernmost wine region of mainland Italy. In the image of Italy as a boot, it occupies the position of the toe of the boot with a 780 kilometre coastline. Basilicata is the only region directly bordering Calabria in the north. In the east and south Calabria is bordered by the Ionian Sea. The Strait of Messina, only three to eight kilometres wide, separates Calabria from Sicily. It also forms the transition from the Ionian to the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west of the region.
A large part of the Calabrian peninsula is covered by mountain ranges. To the north are the foothills of the Apennines, to the south the Aspromonte massif and in the centre the Sila and Serre mountains with the highest mountain in the region: Serra Dolcedorme (2267 m). The climate is characterised by warm summers and cold winters, with marked differences in day and night temperatures. The south-east of the region is both hotter and drier than the north and west on the Tyrrhenian Sea, due to the winds from the African continent.
Wine from Calabria with 2,600 years of history
Even by Italian standards Calabria is a very old wine region. It was already settled by Greeks from the 8th century BC onwards. The Greeks brought with them the types of wine that are still cultivated in Calabria today. For many centuries Calabria was considered an excellent wine region not only in Italy but also in the whole of Europe. In competition with French wine regions, however, a relative loss of importance for the international market set in from the 18th century onwards.
At the end of the 19th century phylloxera dealt a severe blow to the vineyards, from which Calabria did not recover for decades. Then, when competition from the New World emerged in the 20th century, the southern Italian wine region was literally on the ground. Then gradually a successful change for the better set in. The introduction of modern cultivation methods, more care in pressing and investments in the wine cellars are now bearing fruit. Today, there is once again an increasing international demand for wine from Calabria.
Calabria wine from red grapes
One of the special characteristics of wine from Calabria is the high proportion of autochthonous grape varieties. It is true that top international varieties such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon are also cultivated. However, they make up a rather small proportion of the wine region's mix. The Gaglioppo variety, which is planted on around a quarter of the total vineyard area, is particularly characteristic of the style of red wine from Calabria.
Gaglioppo is also one of the oldest varieties of wine in Calabria. It is characterised by a high degree of Oechsle and is suitable for full-bodied red wines with pronounced tannins. The best known example is Cirò DOC from the east coast of Calabria. It is considered one of the best wines of the region. Other frequently cultivated red varieties are Greco Nero and Nero d'Avola.
Calabria Wine from white grape varieties
As with the red wines, white wine from Calabria is dominated by the local varieties. Worth mentioning here is above all the Greco Bianco, which serves as the basis for multi-faceted fresh white wines. Mantonico Bianco and Guardavalle are also among the indigenous varieties. Furthermore, Trebbiano Toscano, Moscato and Chardonnay are cultivated in Calabria.
Interesting facts about the wine region Calabria
Which Calabria wine is classified as IGT?
In Italy, the IGT or Indicazione Geografica Tipica quality classification designates wine with a defined regional origin. IGT wines are more strictly controlled than simple table wines. Among the nine IGT areas in Calabria are
- Calabria IGT
- Costa Viola IGT
- Locride IGT
- Val di Neto IGT
Which Calabria wine is classified as DOC?
In Italy, DOC or Denominazione di origine controllata designates a quality wine produced in specific regions. This means that only vines from these regions may be used for the wines. Among the eleven DOC wines from Calabria are
- Greco di Bianco
- Sant'Anna di Isola Capo Rizzuto
- Terre di Cosenza
How big is the wine-growing area of Calabria?
In Calabria a total of about 9,000 hectares are designated as wine-growing areas and are actually planted with vines.
Wine from Calabria at VINELLO
For Calabria wine from our shop we can recommend the Statti products from Calabria IGT. The winery, which covers 500 hectares, is very large by regional standards and has been cultivating wine since 1700. Today, Alberto and Antonio Statti are resolutely pursuing the modernisation of their vineyards in order to really make the most of the local growing conditions. Try, for example, the red Gaglioppo Calabria IGT with an intense fruity aroma or the white, spicy and fresh Greco Bianco Calabria IGT from Statti.
Order Calabria wines online on VINELLO
Would you like to put together your own tour of discovery of Calabria? Just browse through our range - VINELLO has many wonderful classics and exciting new discoveries in its programme. Discover the variety of wines and also benefit from our sommelier advice. Secure purchasing and guaranteed prompt delivery ensure that your enjoyment journey can begin quickly and takes you straight to the wine pleasure.