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Calabria, located in southern Italy, is a wine region known for its rich viticultural heritage, diverse grape varietals, and the production of robust red wines.
Regional History & Terroir: Calabria has a long history of winemaking, dating back thousands of years to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The region is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The terroir is influenced by the nearby Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas, as well as the rugged mountainous terrain, providing diverse microclimates and a range of soil types including clay, limestone, and volcanic soils.
Typical Grape Varietals: Calabria is home to several indigenous grape varietals that thrive in the region's terroir. Some of the notable red grape varietals include Gaglioppo, Magliocco, and Greco Nero. Gaglioppo, in particular, is considered the flagship grape of Calabria and is used to produce full-bodied and robust red wines. For white wines, Greco Bianco and Mantonico are commonly grown.
Regional Wine Styles: Calabria is best known for its robust red wines, which exhibit deep color, rich fruit flavors, and firm tannins. The wines made from the Gaglioppo grape are often compared to Southern Italian classics like Primitivo and Nero d'Avola. These red wines can range from medium-bodied to full-bodied, with flavors of dark cherries, blackberries, and spices. Calabria also produces some white wines, characterized by their crisp acidity, citrus notes, and floral aromas.
Additionally, Calabria is renowned for its production of sweet wines, particularly the famous dessert wine called "Passito di Calabria," made from dried grapes. These sweet wines are rich, concentrated, and often enjoyed as a dessert or paired with cheese and desserts