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Calabria Native Vines – First Part
Rosa D'Ancona – September 1, 2005



Introduction

 
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This Italian region has been well known for the quality of the local grapes and wines since time immemorial, so much so that in Ancient Greece they were awarded as prizes to the Olympic winners. This is the region that was first called Enotria, or 'Land of Wine', the name that ultimately defined Italy for the Ancient Greeks. We are talking about Calabria, the area whose viticulture and winemaking traditions are interwoven with the region's own history, which have been this way for thousands of years.

To this day, viticulture represents an important part of the local economy. In fact, Calabria has long been an important contributor of the Italian winemaking sector. During the past 20 years though, because of international market deflection, the regional wine industry has faced hard times reaching almost crisis status, in the presence of opposing trends. In fact, on the one end, there are those few established regional estates gaining favor and market share, such as Savuto and Lametino, as well as the famed Cirò zone wines. At the other end, there is the overall local wine industry, which has been undergoing hard times.

Calabria“The area dedicated to vitivinicolture in Calabria," explains Cesare Germinara, manager of Calabria's Assessorato Agricoltura (Agricultural Council), "dropped from 50,000 hectares (over 123,550 acres) in the 1950s, to the current 18,000 hectares (slightly under 44,500 acres). This is partly due to the voluntary abandonment of some vintners, and in part to incentives proposed by the European Community."

Calabria does not have vast expanse of vineyards, nor does it have large estates or sprawling wineries; all the viticulture enterprises are either small- or medium-sized. The Cantine Sociali, or wineries owned by groups of small vintners, are small business realities too. Roughly 20% of current vineyards is grown in flat areas, while the 65% is cultivated in hilly areas, with the remaining 15% grown in mountainous areas.

Yearly production is about 100,000,000 cases of wine, of which 80% are red wines and 20% ore white. There are 12 regional DOC and 13 IGT wines, that account for about 890,000 cases per year. The local wines strongly express the unique local climate, characterized by constant sun exposure and balanced heat and humidity levels during the maturation period. The regional winemaking industry is still today strongly linked to the local traditions, which in practice mark well-defined zones.

The Gaglioppo vineyards, whose grapes are the base of the local champion, the Cirò wine, are found along the southern coast and in the hilly inland, all the way up to the lower ridges of the Sila mountains and in the area between Cirò and the Isola di Capo Rizzuto. Moving southwest, from around Bianco to the steep Aspromonte mountains, the Greco vine is widely cultivated. Finally, the traditional Nerello Mascalese grape grows mostly around Lamezia, whose wines have distinct, typical personalities.

DOC and DOCG wines made with the main native vines

NATIVE GRAPES DOC WINES
DOCG WINES

Greco Bianco

  • Bivongi
  • Cirò
  • Donnici
  • Greco di Bianco
  • Lamezia
  • Melissa
  • San Vito di Luzzi
  • Sant’Anna di Isola Capo Rizzuto
  • Scavigna
  • Verbicaro

Montonico
  • Bivongi
  • Donnici
  • Pollino,
 
Gaglioppo
  • Bivongi
  • Cirò
  • Donnici
  • Lamezia
  • Melissa
  • Pollino
  • San Vito di Luzzi
  • Sant’Anna di Isola Capo Rizzuto
  • Savuto
  • Scavigna
  • Verbicaro

 

Pecorello Bianco

  • Donnici

Guarnaccia

  • Pollino
  • Verbicaro

Greco Nero

  • Bivongi
  • Donnici
  • Lamezia
  • Melissa
  • Pollino
  • San Vito di Luzzi
  • Verbicaro

 


Calabria IGT wines

IGT WINES NATIVE GRAPES
Arghillà
  • Castiglione
  • Gaglioppo
  • Greco Nero
  • Prunesta
Calabria
  • Castiglione
  • Gaglioppo
  • Greco Bianco
  • Greco Nero
  • Guarnaccia
  • Pecorello
  • Prunesta
Condoleo
  • One or more recommended and/or authorized red grapes grown in the province of Cosenza.
    Recommended and/or authorized white grapes grown in the province of Cosenza may be added for up to 15% of the total
    .
Costa Viola
  • Gaglioppo
  • Greco Bianco
  • Greco Nero
  • Prunesta
Esaro
  • Gaglioppo
  • Greco Bianco
  • Greco Nero
  • Guarnaccia
  • Montonico
  • Pecorello
Lipuda
  • Wines without other specification on the label can be made with one or more recommended and/or authorized red grapes grown in the province of Cosenza.
    Wines that mention the grape on the label must include a minimum of 85% of said grape and up to 15% of recommended and/or authorized grapes of the same color grown in the province of Cosenza.
Locride
  • Montonico Passito
Palizzi
  • One or more recommended and/or authorized red grapes grown in the province of Reggio Calabria.
    Recommended and/or authorized white grapes grown in the province of Reggio Calabria may be added for up to 15% of the total
    .
Pellaro
  • One or more recommended and/or authorized red grapes grown in the province of Reggio Calabria.
    Recommended and/or authorized white grapes grown in the province of Reggio Calabria may be added for up to 15% of the total
    .
Scilla
  • One or more recommended and/or authorized red grapes grown in the province of Reggio Calabria.
    Recommended and/or authorized white grapes grown in the province of Reggio Calabria may be added for up to 15% of the total
    .
Val Di Neto
  • Gaglioppo
  • Greco Bianco
  • Greco Nero
  • Pecorello
  • Prunesta
Valdamato
  • Gaglioppo
  • Greco Bianco
  • Greco Nero
  • Marsigliana Nera
  • Prunesta
Valle del Crati
  • Gaglioppo
  • Greco Bianco
  • Greco Nero
  • Guarnaccia
  • Pecorello



 
 
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