Dating the cultivation of the vine in Calabria would mean going back in time, certainly even before the arrival of the first Greek colonists of the eighth century BC. C. Moreover, the cultivation of vineyards in these lands was so intense in the Hellenistic age that Calabria was called “Enotria”, that is, the land of wine. It is therefore easy to understand how the wine that was produced in Calabria, in addition to having a considerable importance for the economy of the times, was appreciated and famous for its quality. Characteristic of that wine seems to have been the strength, vigor and its intense perfume, capable (it is said) of reviving even the dead. The tables of Eraclea give a precise value to the vineyards of the time in Calabria: a plot of land cultivated with vines was worth six times that cultivated with cereals. Temples were erected everywhere to the god Bacchus, among which the one of Cremissa, today’s Cirò, was very famous. And it is precisely wanted that Cirò wine descends in a straight line from that Crimisa wine that was administered to victorious athletes in competitions, for which (together with another great wine of Calabria, Greco di Bianco) it would be the oldest nectar of Italy.
In Roman times the wines of Calabria were unable to repeat the success they had in the Greek era. In fact, the Romans preferred native wines such as Frascati. While the Middle Ages knew the revival, exported by land and sea throughout Italy and beyond. Later, however, the region encountered new difficulties in enhancing its wines and Calabrian viticulture still collects fewer awards than it deserves.
Currently most of the wine production is at a decidedly artisanal level, and in fact every farmer makes wine by himself with completely primitive and empirical criteria: this prevents the obtaining of the same quality from year to year, and to this can be attributed in part of the lack of diffusion of Calabrian wines in the rest of Italy. Thus, the need arises for a lot of Calabrian wine production to leave the artisanal state in order to be more appreciated in Italy and abroad.
Cirò is one of the few truly industrialized wines, the first to request and obtain the controlled designation of origin. Known and appreciated all over the world, it has become part of every self-respecting winery and on the tables of every good restaurant.
For the rest there are few companies that have the DOC denomination, even if this figure is in significant increase, starting a counter-trend with respect to the regional wine market of the last 30 years, characterized by a profound crisis and general impoverishment, given that viticulture is always was an important voice of the local economy.
In particular, other types of Calabrian wines are receiving the support of e-commerce sites that during their business journey have received significant positive feedback from the users served, thus carrying out consumer education and promotion of particular references and types.
For this reason too, perhaps, for some years now we have seen a renewed recovery in production, inspired by new quality criteria, a renewed enthusiasm in production with more careful work in the vineyard and the application of new techniques in the cellar.
In the area of the Piana di Sibari, for example, an attempt is being made to continue a thick winemaking tradition, since it is in this area that the first evidence of an impressive and organized export of wine was found. This departed from the port of Sibari, passed through real enoducts, to be easily loaded onto ships.
In the aforementioned area, in particular, the Pollino doc wine stands out, which sees its production within the National Park of the same name, in particular in the municipalities of Castrovillari, Civita, San Basile, Saracena, Cassano allo Ionio and Frascineto.
The production of this fantastic nectar derives from vines such as Gaglioppo at least for 60%, Greco black, white Malvasia, Montonico white and Guarnaccia white for at least 20%, with the possible addition of white grapes for a maximum of 20%.