Greco di Bianco, ancestral wine

Everyone tasted, once in a lifetime, at least, the liqueur wine, and sweet, which passes under the popular name of passito or malvasia wine.
Even Alexander the Great, a great drinker of raisin wine, seems to have also died from the effects of a solemn hangover (of raisin wine), during a last banquet with his generals in 323 B.C.; further, starting with his death begins the famous Hellenistic age and the historical connubbio between Greek and Roman culture.

It is as saying that passito opens a new era in human culture.

Perfect with cheese

CALABRIAN PASSITO WINE: GRECO DI BIANCO

The grape of passito wines are the so called Mediterranean Malvasias. These grapes are present in different countries and, there, each is always located many kilometers apart from the other. They are unique and rare, each with its own peculiarities. They have an enormous evocative power, and are linked to myths and legends that span a time span of over three thousand years of human history.

All the Mediterranean Malvasias accompany the marvelous voyage of the domestication of the vine from East to West, and the delicious nectar of Calabrian Greco di Bianco is almost certainly the greatest demonstration.

Echo of a glorious past

COMMON ORIGINS OF DIFFERENT GRAPES

Some in-depth genetic research has classified our very ancient “Greco di Bianco”, a vine from which the homonymous wine is obtained, like a malvasia. This Calabrian grape was formerly considered as distinct cultivars from the Malvasias of the Lipari, of Sardinia (of Bosa and of Cagliari), the Greco di Bianco (or of Gerace), Malvasia di Sitges, Malvasia dubrovačka (Croatia), the candid white of Madeira (Portugal) and Tenerife (Canary Islands).

Instead, all the mentioned grapes have shown an “identical molecular profile”, they all come from Calabria!

According to prof. Attilio Scienza, University of Milan, it is not known from which specific Mediterranean region Malvasia grapes left, nor what was the chronology of their stages of diversification in the West, but as shown by some DNA sequences, it seems that this vine did not arrive in Spain from Greece, but from Magna Graecia and therefore perhaps from Calabria.

Vineyards descending towards the sea

The cultivation of these Mediterranean Malvasias is still today located near the sea, as in Calabria; this shows that their wines were for the compositional characteristics suitable for long journeys and the object of intense trade.

A TRACE OF PAST IN THE GRAPES NAME: MALVASIA

In the past there was a lot of confusion between the Malvasia wine and the Greek wines, very similar for the organoleptic characteristics of the wine, as evidenced by the synonymy of Malvasia with Greco di Bianco or Gerace, the only one among the group’s vine varieties in all likelihood, to Greek colonization. In Dalmatia and in Spain it arrived in the Middle Ages to emulate the Venetian malvasias.

A solution of the problem can be found in the history of the name “Malvasia”, as it follows.

According to some studies the name derives from “Monemvasia”, an old commercial port of Laconia, in the Peloponnese. The first written document of a Malvasia dates back to 1214, when the Archbishop of Ephesus Nicola Mesarites referred to a wine called “Monovasia” or “Monemvasios” together with the wines of Chios, Lesbos and Eubea. The Italianisation and diffusion of this term is linked to an active wine trade in the Middle Ages, especially by the Venetians, who began marketing the Vinum de Malvasias in 1278.

Malvasia, the grape, and a glass of liqueur

The name Malvasia referred to the sweet and aromatic wines of Greece (produced in the Peloponnese, in Rhodes, Crete and in the Ionian islands) and after the latter was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, new production centers were created along the sea routes of the Mediterranean. In Italy the first to speak about the various Malvasias was Andrea Bacci at the end of the sixteenth century: in his work he reports that Giulio Cesare Scaligero of Riva del Garda, a humanist cousin him, claimed that the etymology of Monobaticum wine derives from the Greek Monobasiten ( Μονοβασίτήν) term by which Athenaeum of Naucrati (3rd century AD) called a particular wine “the sole basis and foundation of the goodness of all wines”.

Drying the grapes on the reeds

TASTE AND HISTORY

The above mentioned hints of history and oenological science are enough to make clear what experience awaits the lucky drinker of this fantastic sweet and liqueur wine of Calabria, called “Greco di Bianco”.
We wish everyone to drink it in happy company (and at a temperature just below 18 degrees)!

China likes Calabrian Hot Chili Pepper

13.02.2019

Lin Bin, Minister for Economic Development and Commerce, during the visit of a delegation of the People’s Republic of China, met many commercial operators in Calabria, in November 2018, to explore potential of Calabrian Food & Beverage.

CHINESE TOURISM IN CALABRIA

Tourist potential was also explored.
While the Commercial Calabrian companies were preparing for their debut on the Chinese market, some agreements were signed with the tour operators, and the Chinese government issued a “Welcome Chinese Destination certification” for Calabria, which made the region the first in Italy adapted to the standards of Chinese tourism.
Not only that, the new Chinese tourists begin arrive in 2019: 5,000 arrivals are calculated until the middle of 2019, according to Zhang Chuniel, general manager of Cits, China International Travel Service, which launched an impressive communication campaign in Beijing.

Chinese tourists love Calabria

CHINESE PERSPECTIVE TOWARD FOOD & BEVERAGE

Along with tourism, the main attractor is indeed the agri-food sector. This is because the typical products of the region conquer the palate of the Chinese market that awaits already in the coming months, and only to start with, oil and wine made in Calabria.

“There are big spaces and we are ready to import the typical products of the region to satisfy new niches. This is why we asked the Calabrian companies to participate in the next China international fair in Shanghai” said Lin Bin.

CHINA LIKES CALABRIAN HOT CHILI PEPPER

The Hot Chili Pepper (so called “Diavolillo”) is the element that unites the two cultures. To the point that the Chinese giant Dezhuang, a worldwide producer, is a regular guest of the Diamante hot pepper festival, and has signed commercial agreements with the Calabrian “Diavolillo” producers.

Further, in the province of Guinzhou an international edition of the festival has been recently organized as part of the World Chilli Alliance. A world summit will follow for a sustainable hot chili pepper supply chain.

China loves our Hot Chili Pepper

INFRASTRUCTURES FOR NEXT ALLIANCES

The interest in the Special Economic Zone of the port of Gioia Tauro will be also reignited, after the Chinese visit of November 2018: 2,500 hectares of industrial areas, where it is possible to invest with incentives and incentives to companies.

Further, Lamezia airport, which seemed definitely cut off from the New Silk Road and from the commercial corridors (“One Belt, One Road”) for the expansion of China’s routes to Europe through the development of transport and logistics infrastructures, – instead returns to be evaluated as a possible destination.

Finally, Lin Bin visited the transhipment container terminal of Gioia Tauro and the retroport to consider potentiality of Chinese investments.

A POSITIVE BALANCE

New business opportunities are now assessed and, from both parties, between universities and business accelerators are signed protocols for development and innovation.

Particularly, the collaboration between the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria with Shanghai and Nanjing continues to encourage the entry of innovative companies, startups and Calabrian researchers into the Asian market.

Above all, the visit of Chinese delegation of November 2018 confirmed that China likes Calabrian territory and its business opportunities!