Map of Calabrian Wines



Calabria is a beautiful region of southern Italy, rich in history and traditions, which boasts a vast material and immaterial cultural heritage. Bathed by the clear waters of the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina. The mild climate, the beautiful colors of the sea, the rocky coasts alternating with sandy coasts, its wild and mysterious nature, the intense and genuine flavors of the local cuisine and the testimonies of its ancient origins make Calabria a unique place to admire both in winter and in summer.

The ancient Greeks knew Calabria as Enotria, “Land of wine”, and the Calabrian wines were offered as a prize to the winners of the Olympics. In more recent times, the phylloxera epidemic has given a severe blow to the Calabrian viticulture, in fact for many years the Calabrian wines have been relegated as cutting wines, and it is only in recent years, thanks to the stubbornness of many local winemakers, that the qualitative level has come back to previous times.


Map of Wines Production Areas

The main viticultural areas of Calabria are the Cosentino (near Cosenza, see the map), Lametino (surrounding Lamezia Terme), Cirotano (near Crotone) and Locride (the tiny yellow area of production of Greco di Bianco wine).

The area of Cosentino, located north of the region bordering with Basilicata, is the most extensive production area, where viticulture has recovered the hills between 500/700 meters.

The denomination Donnici wine has been absorbed by the new one, Terre di Cosenza DOC, with its seven Subzones, and it has given a new impulse and reconfigured in 2011 the viticulture of all northern Calabria, merging the historical certifications, DOC and IGT, of this province and putting order in a myriad of vines and ancient areas. For example, in recent years the most widespread vine, Magliocco Canino, has been included in Terre di Cosenza and revalued, which is expressed in a wine rich in color, with a powerful structure and incisive aromas of blackberry and spices of the Crati Hills (called Terre di Cosenza – Sub-hills of the Crati DOC), while lower chromatic concentrations and excellent balance is present in the Valle dell’Esaro wine (Terre di Cosenza Subarea Esaro DOC). Also in this area are produced light rosé wines and ready to drink. In addition, vineyards that reach 800 meters give white wines elegant and fragrant, fresh and young to drink, based on Greco Bianco and Guarnaccia, used in purity or in blends. A gem is the Moscato di Saracena, a sweet wine with toasted hints, traditionally produced with dried Moscatello and reduced must for the concentration of Guarnaccia and Malvasia.

Donnici Village

Along the course of the Savuto, natural border of the province of Cosenza to the south and territory of the denominations Savuto DOC and Lamezia DOC, there is the well known Magliocco dolce – here identified as “arvino” -, to which is flanked Gaglioppo, Greco Nero and Aglianico inside the less known Scavigna DOC, while for the white wines Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia Bianca, Chardonnay and Traminer Aromatic grapes are used.

The Ionic side, in the province of Crotone, is the realm of the Cirò DOC denomination, first in terms of numbers and diffusion, whose wine is produced with Gaglioppo grapes. The rebirth of this wine – which the ancient Greeks called “Kremisi” – is recent history and is the result of lower yields per hectare and better production technologies. Until a few years ago Cirò DOC was endowed with a strong alcoholic component and aggressive tannins, but today, while maintaining shades that fade quickly in the orange and quite transparent, it offers a warm taste but with an appreciable tannin. Rosé wines obtained from Gaglioppo grapes are also interesting, fresh and fragrant with rosehip and raspberry.

Typical Cirò vine: Gaglioppo

In the area of Reggio Calabria, area of the denomination Bivongi DOC, the blends are obtained from international vines and ancient grapes, among which the Greco Nero and the Nocera stand out, together with Nerelli Mascalese and Cappuccio, which give simple wines and others that, on the contrary, give their best after aging.

Locride is a land of rare wines. From the slopes of the Aspromonte towards the edge of the coast that overlooks the Ionian Sea, the Mantonico is subjected to a slight drying for the production of a sweet and fresh wine, while not far away, in the municipality of Bianco and only in part of that of Casignana, the Greco Bianco di Bianco has found the ideal terroir to give the famous sweet wine, which is almost impossible to find elsewhere. The bunches are greedy for care, but they are stingy with fruits, they dry on trellises in the sun for 10-15 days and give a sweet and soft wine, which gives Mediterranean aromas like orange blossom, bergamot, apricot, honey and sage. This Greco di Bianco DOC is a true enological gem produced in very few bottles.

Greco di Bianco passito, reeds of essication


Calabria is a beautiful region of southern Italy that stretches along an impervious and difficult territory. It is bathed by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas and is characterized by narrow valleys modelled by rivers and mountains that divide it into two, making the climatic conditions between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian sides really different.

The climate in the areas around Cosenza is continental, so that the wine-growing areas are subject to intense temperature variations which are particularly favorable for the cultivation of white grapes, which improves the bouquet expressed in the wines.

In the mountainous areas of the Sila the thermal excursions are attenuated by warmer temperatures, influenced by the scirocco winds and the tramontana, which enrich the sugary components of the grapes grown on the hills of the well known Cirò.

Argillaceous-calcareous soil

Along the coast, the Mediterranean climate influences the innermost vineyards of the granite Aspromonte up to those of the Costa dei Gelsomini (near Reggio Calabria), where the historic Greco di Bianco finds the ideal conditions for the production of wines of excellent quality.

Other differences are also found in the composition of the land: in fact, from the vineyards cultivated in the terraces – composed mainly of limestone soils of volcanic origin – we obtain dense and structured wines whose powerful tannins offer optimal conditions for medium-long evolutions. Argillaceous-calcareous formations of the hills of the Ionic side favor Gaglioppo and the production of slightly colored, sapid and mineral red wines.

Vine growing, “Alberello” (little tree) type

The vine growing systems practiced in Calabria are mainly spurred cordon, but the historical cultivation in Alberello is among the most widespread compared to the oldest ones (especially for the Cirò wine).

Fritters of Algae in Diamante



Diamante is the largest open-air museum in Italy and among the largest in the world. The local fish specialties are excellent, such as the well known “rosamarina”, delicious fritters made with “bianchetto”, a very tiny young fish specimens.

However, today we are talking about any more delicious fritters of… “green alga” commonly called Sea Lettuce, typical of local cuisine in Diamante.

The alga, which has as botanical name Ulva Lactuca, is a sea lettuce, and among the algae is one of the best known species, it is the richest in chlorophyll and is the one that comes closest to terrestrial plants. It is very widespread throughout the Mediterranean, especially the Tyrrhenian side of Mediterranean sea.


The structure of this alga is lamellar and bi-stratified, translucent, thin with a maximum height of 30 cm and fixed to a helical shaped peduncle. It grows on substrates of rocky nature, from tidal areas up to a maximum of about 10 meters deep.

A green, vegan treasure

This kind of Alga in Diamante is a seaweed particularly rich in calcium (30 times more than milk), magnesium and minerals, essential substances for the body. It is a must of Vegan food and a beautiful element for dishes design.

The beautiful bright green leaf, although thin, is rather resistant. This makes it versatile in use, being able to be prepared directly raw but also cooked. Sea Lettuce has an intense aroma but an extremely delicate taste. It is suitable for preparing colorful salads, tasty toppings and to garnish any dish.

In Diamante, it is the main ingredient for preparing seaweed fritters or the so called  sea “zeppole”.

Preparing by means of such zeppole a delicious appetizer or an aperitif is easy, the most common recipe is a kind of small fritter, made with a simple batter based on water, flour and brewer’s yeast, flavored with seaweed, fresh or dried.


Ingredients for about 20 fritters:

  • 300 g of flour
  • 250 g of water
  • 12 g of yeast (half a cube)
  • 2 sockets of salt
  • a handful of algae
  • 3 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • half a teaspoon of pepper
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of chives
  • peanut oil for frying
The Landscape of Calabrian Cuisine

To the general receipe can be added ingredients, such as paprika, pepper, nutmeg and chives, which give the fritters a more marked color and a stronger flavor. You, of course, can choose to not add such spices: they will be delicious anyway!


  • Pour the lukewarm water into a bowl, add the yeast and mix it until it is completely melted, add the sieved flour and mix with a whisk until you get a rather slow batter.
  •  Put the algae (only if you have bought the dried algae) in a bowl with hot water, let them revive for 4-5 minutes, then squeeze and cut them into small pieces.


Turning in the alleys of the seaside village, crossing the narrow streets and passing through the wide squares, the art strikes the eyes of the tourists, immediately. Namely, the walls down the streets are covered with fascinating murals, over 150 works of art painted on the walls of the historic center and of the Cirella hamlet, built starting from 1981 by painters and artists of international renown. The largest mural is found in the square in front of the town, it reaches 50 meters and tells the story of the town.

The Island of Cirella

As soon as you enter the town, you will come across the Lungomare di Diamante, also called Lungomare nuovo, where you can take a pleasant walk enjoying the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, while enjoying an ice cream or drinking a fresh granita, or you can stop in the ‘wide beach made of pebbles and pebbles, equipped with several bathing establishments.

Continuing towards the old part, you meet the second waterfront, called Lungomare vecchio, or “living room of Diamante”, from here you can observe the whole coast, which in the evening is illuminated by fishermen’s boats with their lamps. In the southern part of the promenade there is then a huge diamond made of stone, symbol of the city. The Beach “of the shark” (so called “spiaggia dello squalo”) is very popular and is located in the heart of the historic center. Although it is not very large, it is the most characteristic, as it allows you to enjoy a splendid view of the island called “Cirella” and of the old town, at the same time.

Take a walk in the seaside!

After so much sea, in a blink of an eye you pass to a green mountain landscape, thanks to La Valva Park, located along the last stretch of the valley where the Corvino river flows. Here it is possible to indulge in long walks, or picnics immersed in the greenery, but also stopping in the tennis courts, volleyball, bowling and soccer fields.

The renowned Chili Pepper Academy is also located in the park.

Come in Diamante, Calabria, and the Mediterranean seaside will welcome you, together with its wonderful diet, allowing you to taste that vegan jewel, so called “Zeppole” of Green Alga!