The site of several major ancient Greek ruins, Calabria is located at the toe of the Italian peninsula between the Ionian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea. A mountainous region, Calabria has a Mediterranean climate with the seas keeping the summer and winter temperatures pretty moderate. It scarcely rains in Calabria, making irrigation essential to wine producers survival. Calabria was originally known for its wine, but with a decline in popularity and their vineyards being ravaged by the phylloxera epidemic in the late 1800s, they were never able to recover.
Now, Calabria is the fourth smallest wine producing region in Italy, with about 8,900 hectares of vineyards that produce about 3 million cases of wine annually. Their oldest and most known DOC is Cirò, which was established as such in 1969, with 490 hectares that produce about 352,000 cases of wine annually. With 75% of their wine production being red wines, it’s no surprise that their native grape, Gaglioppo, makes a significant appearance in Calabrian wines. Other grapes that can be found there are Greco, which is their primary white wine grape, Malvasia, Magliocco, and Nerello Mascalese, which is native to Sicily.