Calabria accounts for 1% of Italy’s production (16th in volume among the regions), with red wine representing 89% of its output.
Calabria forms the toe of the Italian boot and is a predominantly mountainous region with marked variations in microclimates. Two grape varieties of Greek origin dominate––Gaglioppo in red wines and Greco in whites.
The region’s best-known wine is Cirò, which grows on low hills along the Ionian coast between the ancient Greek cities of Sybaris and Kroton (Sibari and Crotone today). The classic Cirò is red, which in the Riserva version has the capacity to age beyond a decade from certain vintages. There is also a bianco from Greco grapes.
Melissa, an adjacent DOC zone, makes red and white wines similar to Cirò, but red wines from the same Gaglioppo grown at higher altitudes, such as Pollino, Donnici and Savuto, are lighter in body and color.
Among the whites, the rare Greco di Bianco stands out as an exquisite––but increasingly rare––sweet wine.
The region also produces Mantonico di Bianco, a Sherry-like amber wine with hints of almond and citrus in bouquet and flavor.
Common Local Grape Varieties
- Malvasia Bianca