Facebook pixel

Calabrese Grapes

The Calabrese is one of the 12 local grape varieties grown in the Calabria region of southern Italy, that is a sub-region of the Campania province (expressed as Calabrian districts).

Most production of this region are red wines, that accounts to around 90% of the region’s income and is done by several red and black grapes, most notably the Gaglioppo grape, that is a red grape variety. The Calabrese grape is also used here.

The Calabria region is one of the least industrialized regions of Italy, with per capita income here being less than half of the total national income of Italy.

Although not very wealthy, it is at the same time not an undeveloped region, and the region takes pride in its wine productions.

Most wines here are locally produced and consumed with most dominant and popular Italian grapes being grown in the northern regions like Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany.

Grape production in Calabria has, however, declined in the last five decades following the great war that led to immense losses to civilian Italian property and population.

Wine grape varieties

The due result, was a number of Italian families from this region permanently immigrating to the US in the 1950s where they started growing and establishing their vine businesses on American soil.

Historically, the Calabrese grape is an ancient variety, although not much is known in detail about it, except that it was introduced by the Greeks (we discuss that in detail below).

Calabrese is also, one of the very few black grape varieties that produces strong fruity flavours and dark coloured wines.

In this section, we discuss some important facts about this grape variety; its origins and viticulture and how it pairs up with some important Italian cuisine.

Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…


Origins of Calabrese

Historically, the Calabrese has very few records existing that could give some idea of where and when it originated.

However, direct linkage to the Sangiovese grapes done through DNA mapping pretty much suggests that these are ancient grapes.

Calabrese is the parent grape of Sangiovese, the latter’s existence being as old as Roman times.

A photo posted by @francescoricasoli on

Calabrian wines, produced from these grapes share equal vintage. Earliest evidences of cultivation go back to the ancient Greeks.

Milo of Croton, was from this region and his legend states that he had a daily intake of 10 litres of Calabrian wine each day.

In the coming decades, famous Roman travellers and personalities like Pliny the Elder noted Calabrian wines of their excellent quality and taste.

So, whatever be the origins of Calabrese, these remain an ancient variety in the Italian arsenal of vines.

In the 19th century, the grape suffered the phylloxera epidemic, although it survived because of the epidemic’s impact being concentrated more on the northern vine regions and France.

Mostly used as a blending grape with other wines, in recent decades, its production has gone uphill to produce varietal wines as well.


Calabrese grapes are a black variety. High in tannins and medium acidic, they bud fairly easily and early.

A lot of its characteristics have been compared to the Syrah variety because of the similar conditions they grow in.

Southern Italy is a dry, warm region with temperatures in Sicily going as high as 40C during peak summers, so Calabrese grapes cannot really be grown in cold regions like Piedmont and Veneto.

Maceration periods for Calabrese grapes are usually long and fermentation in oak barrels is a popular practice among Calabrian winemakers.

A photo posted by @francescoricasoli on

This process leads to dense, dark wines and juicy, plum flavours with notes of chocolates and dark raspberries.

Complementary pairing up

Calabrese wines are thus a mix of chocolate, dark-fruit flavours.

Packed with jammy finesse and taste, these go very well across a wide range of Italian dishes.

Spice it up with an Italian salad to get a sweet-bitter tinge to the whole thing or use it in cooking by spreading a glassful of Calabrian wine to make wine gravy for your dessert.

Also works best with Sicilian food that is somewhat spicier than the mainstream Italian food.

A photo posted by Leeanne (@leemccarthy81) on

Charcoal grilled vegetables accompanied by a risotto with Calabrian wine should make a perfect platter.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

Are you a Copywriter?

We have a lot of articles without much content, if you can do it better, you are welcome to write a nice article, and get the proper credit for that. Read more information about beeing an author, and Contact us for more information.

Other grapes

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Wine Grape Varieties
Wine Informations
Wine Merchants
Bar and Cocktail Equipment
Bottle Opener
Wine Accessories
Wine Opener
Alcohol Free
Brown Ale
Chinese Beer
Christmas Beer
Czech Beer
Danish Beer
English Beer
Finnish Beer
German Beer
Iceland Beer
Indian Pale Ale
Italian Beer
Japanese Beer
Mexican beer
Pale Ale
Seasonal Beer
Swedish Beer
Turkish Beer
Wheat Beer
White Ale
French Champagne
Cocktail Bitters
Cocktail Mixer
Cocktail Muscat
Cocktail Shakers
Fruit Juice
Mead and Tonic Wine
Soft Drinks
Spirits Mixer
Dessert Wine
Argentinian Dessert Wine
Australian Dessert Wine
Chile Dessert Wine
English Dessert Wine
French Dessert Wine
Fruit and Ginger Wine
German Dessert Wine
Hungarian Dessert Wine
Italian Dessert Wine
Madeira and Marsala
New Zealand Dessert WIne
Portugal Dessert Wine
South African Dessert Wine
Spanish Dessert Wine
Cognac and Brandy
Eau De Vie
Gin & Genever
Gran Marnier
Irish Liqueur
Irish Vodka
RTD'S (Ready to Drink)
Tequila & Mescal
Port Wine
Portuguese Port Wine
Portuguese White Port
Ruby Port Wine
Tawny Port Wine
Red Wine
American Red Wine
Argentina Red Wine
Australian Red Wine
Austrian Red Wine
Bulgarian Red Wine
Chile Red Wine
English Red Wine
French Red Wine
Georgia Red Wine
German Red Wine
Greek Red Wine
Hungarian Red Wine
Italian Red Wine
New Zealand Red Wine
Portuguese Red Wine
South African Red Wine
Spanish Red Wine
Uruguay Red Wine
Rosé Wine
American Rosé Wine
Australian Rosé Wine
Chile Rosé Wine
English Rosé Wine
French Rosé Wine
German Rosé Wine
Italian Rosé Wine
New Zealand Rosé Wine
Portuguese Rosé Wine
South African Rosé Wine
Spanish Rosé Wine
Sparkling Wine
American Sparkling Wine
Argentina Sparkling Wine
Cyprus Sparkling Wine
French Sparkling Wine
German Sparkling Wine
Italian Sparkling Wine
South African Sparkling Wine
Spanish Sparkling Wine
Walisisch Sparkling Wine
Blended Malt Whisky
Blended Whisky
Bourbon & USA Whiskey
Grain Whisky
Irish Whiskey
Other Whisky
Scotch Whisky
Single Malt Whisky
White Wine
American White Wine
Argentina White Wine
Australian White Wine
Austrian White Wine
Chile White Wine
English White Wine
French White Wine
Georgia White Wine
German White Wine
Greek White Wine
Hungarian White Wine
Italian White Wine
New Zealand White Wine
Slovakian White Wine
South African White Wine
Spanish White Wine
Chile Wine
English Wine
Exclusive Wines
Fine Wine
French Wine
German Wine
Italian Wine
New Zealand Wine
Port Sherry Madeira
Portugal Wine
Spanish Wine
Wine Gifts
Beer Gifts
Gift Packaging
Spirit Gifts
Wine & Champagne Gifts

Wine Tours

5/5 (6)

Give this page a High Five!

Save up to 20%

Get our newsletter with the promotional code, and save a lot of money!

You will now recieve our Newsletters, Thank You :-)

See all of Our Promotional Codes and benefits here

Online Shopping and World's Best Wines

Save up to 20%

Receive our newsletter and get the latest news, promotional codes and freebies

You will now recieve our Newsletters, Thank You :-)

See all of Our Promotional Codes and benefits here