Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Calabria, the rugged toe of the boot of Italy, is closer to sicily than to Rome in every way. (In antiquity, Calabria was the name of the heel of Italy, part of modern puglia.) It has lagged behind the rest of Italy in its agricultural and industrial development and it is probably not surprising that its wines have yet to make much impact on national and international markets.

Only 2% of Calabria’s agricultural land, in 2011 a total of just 10,028 ha/24,780 acres, was planted with vineyards, most of them close to the northern Tyrrhenian coast or the southern Ionian coast. This represented an astonishing 30% decrease from the total at the turn of the century, thanks to the eu’s 2008 vine pull scheme, an ageing workforce unable or unwilling to put in long hours on the mostly mountainous vineyards, and a general decline in demand for bulk wine which took the brunt of the decline in wine production.