« A rugged and historic region making a quality wine come back... slowly »
A few important/interesting sites...
The most important region in Calabria, Ciro sits on the eastern coast stretching from the Ionian Sea up into the La Sila plateau. Gaglioppo dominates here, making up most plantings.
Producers to try: Cataldo Calabretta and Scala
"Calabria is located at the ‘toe’ of the Italian peninsula and is characterized by its Mediterranean climate. To the north is the Apennine Mountains forming the border with Basilicata and the Ionian Sea forms the eastern and southern borders. To the west is the Straight of Messina which separates, only just, Calabria from Sicily."
You would never know it these days but Calabria was once considered amongst the greatest wines in the world. Famed in ancient times as the "land of vines", the wines were highly sort after throughout both Italy and Europe for centuries. That is until the 18th and 19th centuries when the industry, already on a slow decline, was all but destroyed by Phylloxera in the 1890's.
Calabria is a mountainous and rural region. It's different regions can be quite remote from each other and difficult to reach with lack of infrastructure a constant challenge. Today it is the least populated and poorest region in Italy with less than 5 million cases of wine produced each year.
On the bright side there have been a small but growing number of quality minded produces creating wine from organically farmed vineyards using minimal intervention winemaking. Younger, less risk averse winemakers focusing on native varieties who have found support amongst the worlds natural wine community.
Climate and Terroir
The climate here is dry and warm. This is mitigated by the mountains that cover this small region and the Mediterranean sea which surround the region on all sides. Vines grow at a range of altitudes in protected valleys that can be come quite cold as you head higher in altitude. The cool mountain nights and surrounding sea helps moderate the heat, helping to retain acidity.
The region has a whole host of native varieties to choose from. Amongst these Gaglioppo (red) and Greco Bianco (white) are the most planted and recognised.