The Italian region with the capital Potenza is located "at the sole of the boot". The viticulture can be traced back to the Phoenicians. The Romans called the country Lucania and this name is still in use today, along with Basilicata. The current name is derived from the Byzantine "basilikos", which was a term used in the 9th and 10th centuries to describe the provincial princes who ruled here. The mountainous highlands consist mainly of sedimentary rock with soils of clay, limestone and sand and are crossed by numerous watercourses. Basilicata is enclosed by the three regions of Puglia, Calabria and Campania. There are two short stretches of coast along the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas.
The vineyards cover 4,000 hectares of vines, which are fragmented into many thousands, often not even one hectare. The largest part is located in the east near Matera in river valleys and in the coastal plain of the Ionian Sea around Metaponto. In the 6th century B.C. the Greeks allegedly planted here the ancestor of the now dominant red wine variety Aglianico (or Aglianico del Vulture), other important ones are Aleatico, Bombino Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ciliegiolo, Malvasia Nera di Basilicata, Merlot, Montepulciano, Primitivo(Tribidrag) and Sangiovese. Important white wine varieties are Asprinio(Greco), Bombino Bianco, Fiano, Greco Bianco, Malvasia Bianca di Basilicata, Moscato Bianco(Muscat Blanc) and Trebbiano (?). There is only one IGT area called Basilicata. The five DOC/DOCG zones account for about 30% of production.