Calabria, Italy wine region

Discover the rich and complex flavors of Calabria’s wine region. Nestled in the beautiful southern coast of Italy, Calabria’s unique terroir and warm Mediterranean climate make it the perfect place to grow a variety of grapes, producing wines that are truly one-of-a-kind. 

 

From the crisp and refreshing white wines of the Tyrrhenian coast to the bold and robust reds of the Ionian coast, Calabria has something for every wine lover. 

 

With a rich history dating back centuries, the wines of Calabria are a true taste of Italy’s rich cultural heritage. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience the unique and delicious wines of Calabria. Book your wine tour today!

Calabria wine region highlights:
  • Warm Mediterranean climate – ideal for year-round vacations.
  • Home to the capital city of Catanzaro.
  • Features various national parks to visit during your stay.

Overview of the Calabria wine region

Calabria is a wine region located in the southern wine-producing part of Italy, on the “toe” of the Italian peninsula. The region is known for its warm Mediterranean climate and unique terroir, which make it the ideal location for growing a variety of grapes. The region is divided into two main wine-producing areas: the Tyrrhenian coast and the Ionian coast.

 

The Tyrrhenian coast is known for its crisp and refreshing white wines, particularly those made from the Greco Bianco grape. These wines have high acidity and a bright, fruity taste. The Ionian coast, on the other hand, is known for its bold and robust red wines, such as Gaglioppo and Magliocco. These wines are known for their rich tannins and complex flavors.

 

Calabria is also home to several DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita) wines. The most famous of these is Cirò DOC, which is made from the Gaglioppo grape and is known for its rich, full-bodied taste and long finish. Another notable DOC is Lamezia DOC, which is made from the Magliocco grape and is known for its complex aroma and deep, dark color.

 

In recent years, Calabria’s wine industry has been on the rise, with an increase in the number of small, family-run wineries and a renewed focus on traditional winemaking techniques. As a result, the wines of Calabria are becoming increasingly popular among wine enthusiasts, who are discovering the unique and delicious flavors that this region has to offer.

Calabria wine map

Calabria is a wine region located in the southern wine-producing part of Italy, on the “toe” of the Italian peninsula. The region is known for its warm Mediterranean climate and unique terroir, which make it the ideal location for growing a variety of grapes. The region is divided into two main wine-producing areas: the Tyrrhenian coast and the Ionian coast.

 

The Tyrrhenian coast is known for its crisp and refreshing white wines, particularly those made from the Greco Bianco grape. These wines have high acidity and a bright, fruity taste. The Ionian coast, on the other hand, is known for its bold and robust red wines, such as Gaglioppo and Magliocco. These wines are known for their rich tannins and complex flavors.

 

Calabria is also home to several DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita) wines. The most famous of these is Cirò DOC, which is made from the Gaglioppo grape and is known for its rich, full-bodied taste and long finish. Another notable DOC is Lamezia DOC, which is made from the Magliocco grape and is known for its complex aroma and deep, dark color.

 

In recent years, Calabria’s wine industry has been on the rise, with an increase in the number of small, family-run wineries and a renewed focus on traditional winemaking techniques. As a result, the wines of Calabria are becoming increasingly popular among wine enthusiasts, who are discovering the unique and delicious flavors that this region has to offer.

Cities to visit in Calabria wine region

The Calabria wine region in southern Italy is home to a variety of picturesque towns and cities that are worth visiting for their wine, culture, and history. Each city has its own unique charm and history, making them all worth visiting when exploring the Calabria wine region. Some popular cities to visit include:

  1. Cosenza  This city is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the historic center, which features the Castello Normanno-Svevo and the Cathedral of Saint Maria degli Angeli. Additionally, the city is also home to the Calabria wine museum which showcases the region’s wine-making traditions and history.
  2. Cirò – This town is considered the heart of the Calabria wine region and is known for its production of red wine, specifically the Cirò DOC. Visitors can visit local wineries, such as the Cantine del Notaio and the Azienda Agricola Casa Vinicola Criserà, to taste and learn about the wines of the region.
  3. Squillace – This town is known for its beautiful beaches and charming old town. Visitors can explore the historic center, which features the Cathedral of Santa Maria della Consolazione and the Castle of Squillace. Additionally, Squillace is also home to several wineries, such as Azienda Agricola Moscatelli and Azienda Agricola Fiumara d’Arte, where you can taste and learn about the wines of the region.
  4. Catanzaro – This city is the capital of Calabria, it is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the historic center, which features the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Castle of Catanzaro. The city is also home to several wineries, such as Azienda Agricola Paterno and Azienda Agricola Tardio, where you can taste and learn about the wines of the region.
  5. Crotone – This city is known for its ancient history and beautiful beaches. Visitors can explore the historic center, which features the Castle of Charles V and the Temple of Hera Lacinia. Additionally, Crotone is also home to several wineries, such as Azienda Agricola Pizzuti and Azienda Agricola La Sorgente, where you can taste and learn about the wines of the region.

Unique places to visit in the Calabria wine region

In addition to popular cities, the Calabria wine region in southern Italy also offers unique places to visit that showcase the region’s natural beauty and wine-making traditions. 

 

Sila National Park: This national park is located in the heart of Calabria and is known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife. Visitors can explore the park’s forests, lakes, and mountains, and take part in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and horseback riding.

 

Pollino National Park: This national park is the largest in Italy and it is located in the southern part of Calabria. It is known for its beautiful landscapes, including the Serra Dolcedorme, which is the highest peak in the region. Visitors can explore the park’s forests, rivers, and mountains, and take part in outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing.

 

La Strada del Vino: This wine route runs through the Calabria wine region and offers visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s vineyards and wineries. Visitors can taste and learn about the wines of the region, as well as visit the historic towns and villages that are home to many of the wineries.

 

The Old Town of Gerace: This is a medieval town located in the Calabria wine region. It is known for its beautiful architecture and charming streets. Visitors can explore the town’s historic center, which features the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Castle of Gerace.

 

The Grotta del Romito: This cave is located in the Calabria wine region and is known for its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can explore the cave and learn about its history and geology.

 

The Aspromonte National Park: This national park is located in the Calabria wine region and is known for its beautiful landscapes, including the Serra dei Turchi, which is the highest peak in the region. Visitors can explore the park’s forests, rivers, and mountains, and take part in outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing.

 

Each of these places has its own unique charm and history, making them all worth visiting when exploring the Calabria wine region, along with the popular cities mentioned before. They offer a combination of natural beauty, history, culture, and wine-making traditions that offer a unique and rich experience for visitors.

Popular wines of Calabria

Calabria wine region is known for producing a variety of different types of wines, each with its own unique flavor and characteristics. Some of the most popular wines of Calabria include:

 

Cirò DOC

This is the most famous wine of Calabria and is made from the Gaglioppo grape. It is known for its rich, full-bodied taste and long finish. It’s a red wine with a nice tannin structure, it can age well.

 

Lamezia DOC

This red wine is made from the Magliocco grape and is known for its complex aroma and deep, dark color. It’s a wine with a high acidity, a good tannin structure, and a fruity aroma.

 

Greco Bianco

A white wine is made from the Greco Bianco grape. It’s characterized by high acidity and a bright, fruity taste. It’s a wine that can be enjoyed young, it’s light and refreshing.

 

Gaglioppo

A red wine made from the Gaglioppo grape, it’s known for its bold and robust flavor and rich tannins. It’s a wine that can be aged, it’s quite versatile

 

Magliocco

This red wine made from the Magliocco grape is known for its complexity and depth of flavor. It’s a wine that can age well, with a good tannin structure and high acidity.

 

Calabria Rosso IGT

A delicious wine made from a blend of different grape varieties and is characterized by its rich, full-bodied taste and long finish.

 

Bianco di Cirò DOC

This white wine is made from the Greco Bianco grape and is characterized by its crisp and refreshing taste. It’s a wine that is highly versatile and can be paired with a variety of foods.

 

Bivongi DOC

A wine is made from the Magliocco grape and is known for its deep, dark color and complex aroma. It’s a wine that is best enjoyed with robust and flavorful dishes.

 

Pollino DOC

Made from a blend of different grape varieties, including Gaglioppo, Magliocco, and Greco Bianco, this wine is known for its rich, full-bodied taste and long finish.

 

Calabria Bianco IGT

This white wine is made from a blend of different grape varieties and is characterized by its crisp and refreshing taste. It’s a wine that can be enjoyed young and is perfect for warm weather.

 

Calabria Rosato IGT

Rosé wine is made from a blend of different grape varieties and is characterized by its light and refreshing taste. It’s a wine that can be enjoyed young and is perfect for warm weather.

 

Ciro bianco

A white wine is made from the Greco Bianco grape. It’s characterized by high acidity and a bright, fruity taste. It’s a wine that can be enjoyed young, it’s light and refreshing.

 

Calabria Moscato

Made from Moscato grape, and it’s characterized by its sweetness and floral aromas. it’s a wine that can be enjoyed as a dessert wine or paired with a light dish.

 

These wines are produced with grapes that are unique to the region and are a result of the specific terroir and climate of Calabria. It’s important to note that Calabria is a relatively small wine region, so the availability of these wines may vary depending on the location.

About Calabria Wines: Types & Characteristics

Calabria wine region is known for producing a variety of different types of wines, including:

 

White wines: The Tyrrhenian coast is known for producing crisp and refreshing white wines, particularly those made from the Greco Bianco grape. These wines are characterized by high acidity and a bright, fruity taste.

 

Red wines: The Ionian coast is known for its bold and robust red wines, such as Gaglioppo and Magliocco. These wines are known for their rich tannins and complex flavors.

 

Sparkling wines: Calabria is also known for its sparkling wines, particularly those made from the Greco Bianco grape. These wines are characterized by a lively effervescence and a crisp, refreshing taste.

 

Fortified wines: Calabria is also known for its fortified wines, such as Marsala-style wines, which are made by adding a spirit such as brandy to the wine. These wines are characterized by their high alcohol content and rich, complex flavors.

 

DOC and DOCG wines: Calabria is home to several DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita) wines. The most famous of these is Cirò DOC, which is made from the Gaglioppo grape and is known for its rich, full-bodied taste and long finish. Another notable DOC is Lamezia DOC, which is made from the Magliocco grape and is known for its complex aroma and deep, dark color.

Appellations of the Calabria wine region

Here is a complete list of the appellations in the Calabria wine region:

  • Bivongi DOC – This appellation is located in the eastern part of Calabria and produces red and white wines from local grape varieties such as Greco Bianco, Gaglioppo, and Magliocco.
  • Cirò DOC – Located along the Ionian coast of Calabria, this appellation produces mainly red wines from Gaglioppo grapes.
  • Donnici DOC – This appellation covers an area near Cosenza and produces mainly red wines from local grape varieties such as Greco Nero and Magliocco.
  • Lamezia DOC – Situated in central Calabria, this large appellation produces both red and white wines from a range of grape varieties including Greco Bianco, Mantonico Bianco, and Gaglioppo.
  • Melissa DOC – Located near the Gulf of Taranto, this small appellation produces mainly red wines from local grape varieties such as Magliocco Dolce and Greco Nero.
  • Pollino DOC – Covering an area near the Pollino National Park in northern Calabria, this appellation produces mainly red wines from Aglianico grapes.
  • Sant’Anna di Isola Capo Rizzuto DOC – Situated on the eastern coast of Calabria near Crotone, this small appellation produces mainly red wines from Gaglioppo grapes.
  • Savuto DOC – This appellation covers an area around Mount Poro in central Calabria and produces both red and white wines from local grape varieties such as Greco Nero, Gaglioppo, and Magliocco.
  • Scavigna DOC – Located near Catanzaro on the eastern coast of Calabria, this small appellation produces mainly white wines from local grape varieties such as Greco Bianco and Montonico Bianco.

These are just a few examples of the many appellations in Calabria that showcase the region’s diverse terroir and winemaking traditions!

Calabria Wine Taste Notes & Flavors

Tasting wines from the Calabria wine region can be a unique and exciting experience. The region is known for producing wines that are deeply rooted in tradition and reflects the terroir and climate of the area.

 

When tasting Calabria wines, you can expect to find a wide range of flavors and aromas, depending on the grape variety and style of wine. For example, red wines from Calabria are known for their rich, full-bodied taste and long finish. Gaglioppo and Magliocco are the two main red grape varieties grown in the region, these grapes will give you a wine with tannins, acidity, and a fruity aroma.

 

White wines from Calabria are known for their crisp and refreshing taste. The Greco Bianco grape is the main white grape variety grown in the region, it will give you a wine with high acidity and a bright, fruity taste.

 

When tasting Calabria wines, you can also expect to find a variety of different styles, from dry to sweet and sparkling. For example, Calabria Moscato is a sweet wine with floral aromas.

In general, when tasting Calabria wines, you can expect to find a wide range of flavors and aromas, depending on the grape variety and style of wine. The wines are deeply rooted in tradition and reflect the terroir and climate of the area, making them a unique and exciting experience to taste.

 

Book a tour of Calabria wines, and treat your palate to a delectably interesting and diverse range of wines today!

Grape Varieties of Calabria wines

The region is home to a variety of grape varieties that are used to produce different styles of wines.

 

Gaglioppo: This is the most important red grape variety grown in the Calabria wine region. Wines made from Gaglioppo are known for their rich, full-bodied taste and long finish. They are often aged in oak barrels, which impart a vanilla and spice aroma and a soft tannin structure.

 

Magliocco: This is another red grape variety grown in Calabria. Wines made from Magliocco are known for their deep, dark color and complex aroma. They have high tannin and acidity which gives the wine a robust, full-bodied taste and a long finish.

 

Greco Bianco: This is the most important white grape variety grown in Calabria. Wines made from Greco Bianco are known for their crisp and refreshing taste. They have high acidity and a bright, fruity taste. They are best enjoyed young and are perfect for warm weather.

 

Moscato: This is a white grape variety grown in Calabria, it is used to produce a sweet wine with floral aromas. It is best enjoyed as a dessert wine or paired with a light dish.

 

Cirò Bianco: This is a white grape variety grown in Calabria, it is used to produce a crisp and refreshing wine that can be paired with a variety of foods.

 

Cirò Rosso: This is a red grape variety grown in Calabria, it is used to produce a wine that is characterized by its rich and full-bodied taste.

 

Calabria wine region wines are made from a variety of grape varieties that lend different styles of wines, from rich and full-bodied red wines to crisp and refreshing white wines. Each grape variety has its own unique characteristics that reflect the terroir and climate of the region.

Frequently Asked Questions About Calabria wine region

  • What types of wine are produced in the Calabria wine region?

    The Calabria wine region produces a variety of wines, including red, white, and rosé wines. The most well-known red wines are Gaglioppo, Magliocco, and Greco Nero. The most well-known white wines are Mantonico, Greco Bianco and Bianco di Cirò.
  • What are some popular wines of the Calabria wine region?

    Some popular wines of the Calabria wine region include Cirò Rosso, Cirò Rosato, and Cirò Bianco. These wines are made from the Gaglioppo grape variety and are known for their full-bodied and fruity taste.
  • What grape varieties are used to make Calabria wines?

    The most commonly used grape varieties in Calabria wine region are Gaglioppo, Magliocco, and Greco Nero for red wines, Mantonico, Greco Bianco and Bianco di Cirò for white wines.
  • What is the best time to visit the Calabria wine region?

    The best time to visit the Calabria wine region is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and sunny. This is also when many of the region's wine festivals and events take place.
  • What should I expect when tasting Calabria wines?

    When tasting Calabria wines, you can expect to taste a variety of flavors, including red and dark fruit, spices, and a hint of earthiness. The wines are typically full-bodied and have a strong tannic structure.
  • What are some unique places to visit in the Calabria wine region?

    Some unique places to visit in the Calabria wine region include Sila National Park, Pollino National Park, La Strada del Vino, the Old Town of Gerace, the Grotta del Romito, and the Aspromonte National Park. Each of these places offers a unique combination of natural beauty, history, culture, and wine-making traditions.
  • How can I plan a visit to the Calabria wine region?

    You can plan a visit to the Calabria wine region by researching the different wineries and wine-related activities in the area. You can also plan to visit the unique places that the region has to offer, such as the national parks, historic towns, and caves. Additionally, you can look into wine tours and festivals that take place in the region.

Other top wineries to visit in the Calabria wine region