The region (ital. Calabria) with the capital Catanzaro is located deep in the south of Italy and forms the rugged "boot toe" almost completely surrounded by the sea. The coast stretches over a length of 780 kilometres. The Strait of Messina, only three to eight kilometres wide, separates Calabria from the island of Sicily. It is one of the oldest wine-growing regions in Italy. As early as 1,000 BC, Greek settlers from the outpost of Sicily founded colonies here and in neighbouring Campania and called the area Oinotria. They also introduced many of their grape varieties, possibly including the ancestors of Gaglioppo, Greco Bianco and Greco Nero. Legend has it that the wine of the ancient Olympic champions called Krimisa was produced in the present Cirò DOC area. The famous naturalist Andrea Bacci (1524-1600), in his main work, exuberantly praises a wine from Cirella. Calabria still lives on this today.
The predominantly Mediterranean climate is characterised by dry and hot summers and, in the interior, by harsh and cold winters. Due to the positive influence of the waters (oceans) there are hardly any temperature fluctuations. Viticulture plays only a minor role compared to the cultivation of citrus fruits, olives and various vegetables. The vineyards cover about 9,500 hectares of vine area. The largest stocks are located in the north on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea and in the south on the coast of the Ionian Sea. Even today the traditional form of cultivation Albarello(gobelet = bush) is still widespread.
The red wine varieties, which are better suited to the climate, occupy 90% of the area. The most important are Aglianico, Alicante(Garnacha Tinta), Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Calabrese(Nero d'Avola), Castiglione, Gaglioppo (with a quarter of the vineyard area), Greco Nero, Magliocco Canino, Malvasia Nera di Brindisi, Marsigliana Nera(Magliocco Dolce), Merlot, Montepulciano, Nerello Cappuccio, Nerello Mascalese, Nocera, Petit Verdot, Prunesta, Sangiovese and Syrah
Important white wine varieties are Ansonica(Inzolia), Chardonnay, Greco Bianco, Guardavalle, Guarnaccia(Coda di Volpe Bianca), Malvasia Bianca di Candia, Manzoni Bianco, Montonico Bianco, Moscato Bianco(Muscat Blanc), Pinot Bianco(Pinot Blanc), Riesling Italico(Welschriesling), Sauvignon(Sauvignon Blanc), Sémillon, Traminer Aromatico(Gewürztraminer), Trebbiano Toscano, Verdicchio Bianco and Zibibo(Muscat d'Alexandrie). There are the ten IGT areas (or IGP - the land wines) Arghillà, Calabria, Costa Viola, Lipuda, Locride, Palizzi, Pellaro, Scilla, Valdamato and Val d'Neto. The nine DOC wines represent about 40% of the wine production: