Ultimate Guide to the Calabria Wine Region

Calabria Wine Region Agriculture

Poor soil quality isn't usually a source of excitement, especially for agricu­ltural purposes. However, in the case of vine growth, Calabria's poor soil can be a great attribute. Ideally, their roots are able to grow deep into the soil without getting soaked [source: Nueva Cocina Foods]. The soil in Calabria allows them to do just that. A number of different grape varieties thrive throughout the region, probably one of the main reasons why it was once called the land of wine.

The climate in Calabria changes with regard to location. Along the sea, temperatures are warm. The farther up in the mountains you go, it gets colder. At either end of the spectrum, problems can arise for grape vines. Too much heat isn't good, while on the other hand, frost has been known to wipe out entire crops [source: Wine Bow]. Fortunately, there's a solution. The mountains throughout Calabria provide winemakers with a number of different altitudes to choose from when planting their vineyards. If you've ever driven through the mountains, then you know that at the bottom of a snow-capped mountain, you can be completely comfortable with the windows down. But as you make your way toward the summit, you're eventually going to have to roll the windows up and mostly likely turn your heater on, too. The higher you go, the colder it gets. The growers know that if one area is too hot to plant grapes, they can simply move up -- and if it's too cold, they move down. It couldn't be simpler.

The most common grape in the region is Gaglioppo, used to make Calabria's famous Ciro wine [source: Wine Bow]. No one knows for sure whether the grape has always been in the region or if the Greeks introduced it when they arrived.

Read on to learn what other wines come from Calabria.