Ultimate Guide to the Calabria Wine Region

Famous Wines of the Calabria Wine Region

If wines could talk, Ciro would have quite a bit to say about Calabria. It's been around for a ­long time. In fact, some people believe that it is the same as Cremissa, a wine that was used to toast the gods at the ancient Olympic Games back when they were still competing in sandals and togas [source: Sonkin]. It's quite possible that Ciro is the world's oldest wine that is still being produced. That's pretty interesting when you consider that it comes from a region that only uses a tiny fraction of its land for wine production [source: Made In Italy]. Ciro is made as a red wine, a white wine and a rose. It was the first Calabrian wine to receive a DOC designation and is hands down the most famous wine from the region.

Presently, there are 12 DOC appellations in Calabria producing a variety of different reds, whites and roses. The Greco di Bianco deserves to be mentioned. It is a white sweet wine that has quite a reputation for quality [source: Italian Made]. Unfortunately, it's hard to get a hold of, and outside of Calabria, it's almost impossible to find. The wine is made from the Greco variety of grape, which shows up in a majority of DOC wines from the region.

The Pollino, Donnici and Savuto DOCs are interesting because they are made from Gaglioppo, the same grape used to make Ciro. However, they have a different taste because of the altitude at which the grapes used to make them are grown [source: Italian Made]. It's amazing to think that by changing the altitude at which a grape is planted can both control the climate it grows in and the properties of its flavor as well.

For more wine-related information, visit the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Classic Encyclopedia. "Calabria." 1911 Encyclopedia. (accessed 02/12/2009)
  • Italian Made. "The Wines of Calabria." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.italianmade.com/regions/wines18.cfm
  • Made in Italy. "Wine Regions - Calabria." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.made-in-italy.com/winefood/wine/regions/calabria.htm
  • Map of Italy. "Where is Italy?" (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.map-of-italy.org/
  • Nation Master. "Encyclopedia > Strait of Messina Bridge." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Strait-of-Messina-Bridge
  • Nueva Cocina Foods. "Sip it: Wines from Argentina." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.nuevacocinafoods.com/SipItArgentina.htm
  • Reiss, Levi. "I Love Italian Wine and Food - The Calabria Wine Region." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.buzzle.com/articles/love-italian-wine-food-calabria-region.html
  • Sonkin, Loren. "Ciro: Calabria's Ancient Wine from the Toe of Southern Italy's Boot." Into Wine. (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.intowine.com/cirò-wine-calabria-toe-boot-southern-italy
  • Theoi. "Dionysos Favour." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/DionysosFavour.html#Ikarios
  • Wine Bow. "Calabria." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.winebow.com/wine_regioninfo.asp?region=9
  • Wine Country. "Calabria: The Tip of the Boot." (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.winecountry.it/regions/calabria/index.html
  • York, Dylan. "Calabria: Rich on History Poor on Wine." Classic Wines. (accessed 02/12/2009)http://www.classicwines.com/articles/calabria-rich-on-history-poor-on-wine