Oct 19, 2023 3:28 PM
Food and wine
Autumn is harvest time and wine tourism itineraries.
The Calabria of good wine is waiting for you to toast together with a tour among wine cellars and vineyards, along the gentle slopes of historic wine estates, on panoramic hills overlooking the sea, and the historic centres of towns and cities that host wineries, wine bars and wine shops.
The Wine Roads itinerary in Calabria crosses the region from north to south and from east to west. The "Land of Wine", the ancient Enotria of the Greeks (from ôinos, wine) releases in the glass all the identity and authenticity of a territory historically devoted to viticulture.
Many fine DOC and IGT labels, award-winning and appreciated worldwide, are the result of the protection and revitalisation of ancient indigenous Calabrian grape varieties: Gaglioppo, Magliocco, Nerello, Greco and Montonico and their white and black berry varieties, processed according to the latest technologies and care for the environment.
Wine Roads and Wine Cities in Calabria
The itinerary along the "Wine Roads" in Calabria starts from the city of Cosenza and the area within which the DOC "Terre di Cosenza" falls, a reality created to promote a wide range of local wines throughout the province.
There are seven sub-areas of fine production: Condoleo, Donnici, Esaro, Pollino, San Vito di Luzzi, Colline del Crati and Verbicaro. Along this route we also recommend a visit to the three "Wine Cities" located in the province of Cosenza: Belmonte Calabro, Frascineto and Saracena.
Saracena in particular is home to the delicious Moscato di Saracena, a Slow Food Presidium, ideal to accompany desserts, such as the traditional cannarìcoli (typical sweets for the feast of the patron saint San Leone, 19 February).
Moving to the Ionian side, in the province of Crotone, we travel along one of the most internationally famous "Wine Roads" in Calabria: the road that leads to the prized Cirò and Melissa DOC wines. The main stop on this wine tourism itinerary are the two municipalities of the same name and their consortium area, where the most famous Calabrian wine is cultivated in the white, red and rosé types.
Along the Costa dei Saraceni you can also taste the excellent wines of Sant'Anna di Isola Capo Rizzuto DOC, Lipuda and Val di Neto IGT.
The Calabrian "Wine Roads" continue to discover the Lametino and Catanzaro areas, home of the Savuto, Scavigna, Lamezia DOC and Valdamato IGT wines.
Catanzaro and its province enjoy a special microclimate and the different exposure of two seas: Tyrrhenian and Ionian, between which flow important river valleys. The main stop on the wine tourism itinerary is the "Wine City" of Lamezia Terme, together with Motta Santa Lucia, with a DOC that includes all types (white, red, rosé, sparkling, passito and novello) and is the fruit of indigenous vines.
Travelling south along the Tyrrhenian coast, we reach the stunning Costa Viola and the province of Reggio Calabria, where Etna-view vineyards warm up until evening with long sunsets and typical terracing with dry stone walls that give rise to the Costa Viola and Scilla IGT wines.
First stop is the "Wine City" of Cittanova. Continuing on we reach Scilla and Reggio Calabria, where we can taste the Arghillà and Pellaro IGT wines.
Finally, up the Ionian coast, the "Wine Roads" of Calabria take us through the villages of the Grecanica area, the Costa dei Gelsomini and Locride, where we can toast with the fine wines Greco di Bianco and Bivongi DOC, Palizzi and Locride IGT.
Greco di Bianco DOC is an excellent type of dessert wine produced in the municipality of Bianco and part of that of Casignana, both "Wine Cities" together with Palizzi.
The wine itinerary in Calabria ends in the village of Bivongi, with a toast based on the unmistakable Bivongi DOC.
What to see and do
There is no better occasion than to visit an area through the sensory journey that its wine offers. There are many wineries and cellars in Calabria that offer wine tourism hospitality, vineyard tours and tastings along the "Wine Roads" in Calabria.
Suggested stops include a visit to the historic centre of Cosenza and the two national parks that fall wholly or partly within its province: the Pollino National Park and the Sila National Park, crossed by river valleys such as the Savuto, where Savuto DOC wine is produced.
Don't miss a visit to the historical centre of Cirò, that of Melissa and that of Crucoli, including the Carafa Castle, where the Cypriot mathematician and astronomer Luigi Lilio, inventor of the Gregorian calendar, worked.
Not to be missed is Isola Capo Rizzuto, with the sea fortress of Le Castella, its Protected Marine Area and the National Archaeological Park of Capo Colonna.
On the Tyrrhenian Sea, the "Wine City" of Lamezia Terme offers the beauty of the historic centre of Nicastro, with its Cathedral, Diocesan Museum, the Monumental Complex of San Domenico and the remains of the Norman-Swabian Castle.
A not-to-be-missed stop along the Costa Viola is the fishing village of Chianalea di Scilla, otherwise known as the "Venice of the South"; then Reggio Calabria, with its Art Nouveau charm, its Seafront and the National Archaeological Museum housing the Riace Bronzes.
Finally, Locri and its National Archaeological Park, toasting to Calabria with an excellent glass of Locride IGT wine.