Calabria, located Northeast of the Italian island of Sicily, is the farthest south region of Italy's "boot"; in fact, it makes up the entire "toe" of the boot.
Calabria's cultivation and production of wine began nearly 2,500 years ago using unique grape varieties brought to the region from Greece by Roman centurion Magno Megonio. Since then, Calabria has produced its unique varietals of wines while employing increasingly advanced methods -- from grape-stomping to modern machinery.
The Cirò wine region is located in the eastern foothills of the La Sila region and extends to the Ionian coast. The region's classico (or heartland) is centered in the comuni of Cirò and Cirò Marina in the province of Crotone. The soil of this area is predominantly calcareous marl with some clay and sand deposits.
The wines of the region, all organically grown and produced, are predominantly red containing at least 95% of the Gaglioppo grape and up to 5% of the white Greco Bianco and Trebbiano grapes permitted. Rosés and white wines from at least 90% Greco Bianco and up to 10% Trebbiano are also made in Cirò but in very limited quantities. While a common synonym of Trebbiano is Greco, the grape is separate and distinct from the Calabrian wine grape Greco Bianco.
The designation of Cirò classico will only appear on red wines. Red Cirò is typically very tannic and full-bodied with strong fruit presences. It is often meant to be consumed 3–4 years after vintage but can take more time to soften the tannins. It is said that Cirò was offered to winners of the ancient Olympics.
One of many unique features of Calabria's Wine Region is its sheer number of grape genes, which account for popular indigenous varietals like Gaglioppo, as well as many that are still being discovered today.
Calabria is home to the highest number of indigenous grapes in all of Italy. It's no wonder that this region has been at the top of global wine researchers' list for decades. Additionally, the interesting wines and their history, combined with the region's untouched splendor and beauty, has paved the way for new opportunities in agrictourism, eco-tourism, and, of course, wine tourism!
IVDC Wines' principals are experts on the Calabria region, and, using their unique expertise and passion for wine, they have curated a diverse and exciting offering of Calabrian wines. The distinct goal of IVDC Wines' brand portfolio is to share with customers a well-thought and thorough virtual tour of Calabria... through their wines!
"This ancient Calabrian wine region [Cirò] in sun-baked southern Italy offers a gorgeous countryside of ancient olive trees and undulating vineyards planted with a unique and often-misunderstood red grape—Gaglioppo. What's more, a new generation of winemakers is working to turn Cirò from a backwater to an appellation worthy of our attention."
- Robert Camuto, Wine Spectator
Some of the best meals in Italy aren’t found in Rome or Tuscany, but from the southern region of Calabria. The toe of Italy’s boot is making a name for itself in food and wine circles, led by places like Ristorante Dattilo [owned and run by Ceraudo, and located on the grounds of their vineyard]… Known for spicy dishes and much of the world’s supply of bergamot, Calabria is pivoting toward lighter fare, organic farming and wine made from local grapes."
- Danielle Pergament, New York Times
About 2,000 years ago, Magno Megonio, a refined centurion of the Roman age, left a vine to his heirs through the oldest document about winemaking and viticulture ever found: It was carved on marble columns and still today it is stored in the cathedral in Strongoli, in Calabria in the south of Italy. A lesser-known wine region that is quietly growing, its wonderful wines and, above all, wonderful people deserve to be known worldwide. Although it has only 27,181 acres with limited production... Calabria offers more than 100 indigenous grapes, the highest number in Italy.
- Chiara Giorleo, Napa Valley Times
The region of Calabria was first cultivated by the Oenotrians, and then by the ancient Greeks. The Greek athlete Milo of Croton was from this region and was reported to drink 2.6 gallons of Cirò wine each day. Tradition has that the wine is still made in the same way today as it was in Milo's time. During the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder included Calabrian wine in his listings of quality Italian wines.
Calabria has one of the oldest records of human presence in Italy, which date back to around 700,000 BC when a type of Homo Erectus evolved leaving traces around coastal areas. During the Paleolithic period stone age man created the "Bos Primigenius", a figure of a bull on a cliff which dates back around 12,000 years in the Cave of Romito in the town of Papasidero. When the Neolithic period came the first villages were founded around 3,500 BC.
Most people are familiar with Tuscany, but few know of Calabria, its ancient history and dedication to growing and producing the finest organic wines and olive oil. Our vintners are generations-old, family-owned and exhibit great pride and dedication to continuing their forefathers’ dreams. Those same dreams are still prevalent today in their viticulture and viniculture methods, and their fantastic wines reflect their unique and storied past and present.
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