Rare Wines. The renaissance of Calabria's wine

Nov 16 2022, 16:10 | by Gambero Rosso
CALABRIA AND THE CHILDREN OF A CONTEMPORARY REVOLUTION. IN THIS EPISODE OF RARE WINES WE TELL YOU ABOUT TWO LABELS AND TWO WINEMAKERS THAT REPRESENT THE AWAKENING OF A LAND WITH A VOCATION FOR VITICULTURE. DISCOVER THEM HERE.

In the beginning it was the Cirò Boys. It was the Nineties and theirs was a reverse revolution. They were a group of producers - which today we would define as ante litteram natural wine producers - who wanted to reaffirm the primacy of tradition and the gaglioppo grape. Having abandoned the small oak barrels and the use (sometimes abuse) of chemistry in the vineyard, they restarted from the recovery of the alberello training system vines and from spontaneous fermentation in the cellar. This group led by Francesco Maria De Franco and Sergio Arcuri today continues to produce wines of excellent quality.

In recent years, a second revolution has affected the southern area of ​​Calabria. One of the most suitable pedoclimatic areas in Italy, where viticulture has been inexplicably abandoned for decades and which in recent times is experiencing an incredible moment of growth. In this novel Woodstock of Calabria wine, there are new protagonists of the local wine scene. Young people like Giovanni Celeste Benvenuto, who on his return from Francavilla Angitola, in Abruzzo, took over the existing vineyards of his grandfather to found his cellar and recover native grapes such as zibibbo di Pizzo and malvasia nera.

Another name that's part of this change of pace was Filippo Brancati. After his untimely death, today his children Marika and Massimo take care of the vineyards overlooking the sea, on the steep terraces of Palizzi, which Filippo first started cultivating. Stories of successful men and women who return to their land to start again and focus all on new life projects with ancestral roots, redeeming the hard work of past generations, allowing us to narrate a new chapter of Calabria winemaking.

Rare Wines. From Calabria, two wines to discover

Benvenuto Orange Zibibbo 2021

Score: 
95
/100
VINEYARD | Giovanni Celeste Benvenuto's vineyards, fifteen hectares cultivated organically, are located in Francavilla Angitola on the Tyrrhenian side of the so-called Isthmus of Marcellinara. This is the narrowest point in Italy: only 35 km separate the Tyrrhenian Sea from the Ionian Sea in the Mediterranean basin. A territory that was always dedicated to viticulture precisely due to the proximity of the two seas. The vineyard from which the Benvenuto Orange is obtained is called Ziopà, probably the dialect contraction of Zio Paolo, the name of the old owner. The three hectares of vineyards are located at an altitude of 350 metres facing the sea, on ancient terraces of granite soils, rich in skeleton and minerals, planted 32 years ago...
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Carcare Bianco 2020

Score: 
95
/100
VINEYARD | Palizzi is located in the southernmost part of Calabria, where the steep hills overlooking the Ionian Sea surround the Aspromonte. It is the hamlet of Carcare that gives its name to the wine. Three hectares of vineyards in all, organically grown since 2016. The rows grow on white and calcareous soils, in one of the driest and at the same time most windy areas of southern Italy. Here a dozen years ago, at about 250 metres above sea level, facing North-East, Filippo Brancati planted a Chardonnay vineyard, convinced that this grape would have adapted well to the local soil and climatic characteristics, thus absorbing its peculiarities. And he was right. PERSON | Filippo Brancati was born and raised...
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