The Wines of the Calabria Region
Calabria is a splendid region of southern Italy, rich in history and traditions, which boasts a vast material and immaterial cultural heritage. Bathed by the clear waters of the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas, it is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina. The mild climate, the splendid colors of the sea, the rocky coasts alternating with sandy coasts, its wild and mysterious nature, the intense and genuine flavors of the local cuisine and the evidence of its ancient origins make Calabria a unique place, to be admired both in winter than in summer.
The ancient Greeks knew Calabria as Enotria, "Land of wine", and Calabrian wines were offered as a prize to the winners of the Olympics. In more recent times, the phylloxera epidemic has given a serious blow to Calabrian viticulture, in fact for many years the Calabrian wines have been relegated as cut wines, and it is only in recent years, thanks to the stubbornness of many local winemakers, who the quality level has risen significantly.
Climate, Territory and Cultivation systems of the vine
Calabria is a splendid region of southern Italy that stretches along an impervious and difficult territory. It is washed by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas and is characterized by the narrow valleys designed by rivers and mountains that divide it into two, making the climatic conditions different between the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian sides.
The climate in the areas around Cosenza is continental, so the wine-growing areas are subject to intense temperature variations which are particularly favorable for the cultivation of white berried grapes, which improves the bouquet expressed in the wines.
In the mountain areas of the Sila, the temperature ranges are attenuated by warmer temperatures, influenced by the sirocco winds and the north wind, which enrich the sugar components of the grapes grown on the Cirotano hills. Along the coastal part, the Mediterranean climate influences the innermost vineyards of the granite Aspromonte up to those of the Costa dei Gelsomini, where the historian Greco di Bianco finds the ideal conditions for the production of excellent quality wines.
Other differences are also found in the composition of the soils: in fact, from the vineyards cultivated on the terraces - mainly composed of calcareous soils of volcanic layers - dense and structured wines are obtained whose powerful tannins offer the optimal conditions for medium-long evolutions. Clay-limestone formations of the hills on the Ionian side favor Gaglioppo and the production of little colored, sapid and mineral red wines.
The vines cultivation systems practiced in Calabria are mainly in spurred cordon, but the historical cultivation in Alberello is among the most widespread compared to the oldest ones.