Gaglioppo is the red grape variety of the Cirò area, in Calabria.
Calabria has a thousand-year tradition in the field of viticulture and even today the landscape of many coastal areas is designed by vineyards, which are lost in the blue horizon of the sea. The first Greek navigators, moved by the spirit of adventure and the search for new opportunities for trade, landed in these lands around the 8th BC. The indigenous peoples had already begun the process of domestication of the wild vine and bartering with the Greek colonizers, making Magna Graecia a region famous for
viticulture. The term Enotria -land of wine- with which the Greeks identified a good part of southern Italy, confirms the ancient vine-growing vocation of a territory stretching out towards the sea and a natural crossroads of encounters and influences between peoples and civilizations from all over the Mediterranean.
It is important to remember the Calabrian winemakers have been able to preserve an extraordinary patrimony of autochthonous varieties which are still
today the basis of the most famous wines of the Region. The international vines arrived late and have affected, only marginally, a production that has its roots in the ancient history of the territory. Gaglioppo is mainly present in the hilly area of Cirò, located north of Crotone, along the Ionian coast. Thanks to a Mediterranean climate, warm and breezy with it’s clay-limestone soil is particularly suited for quality viticulture. Gaglioppo has found its ideal habitatin this area.
Gaglioppo is a vine of good vigor and productivity, with a rather long vegetative cycle and a medium-late maturation. It produces bunches with a conical shape and a notable morphological variety among the various biotypes. The grapes are small, with a fairly thick and pruinose, black-purple skin. For many years a research path has been undertaken to select the best clovers of gaglioppo, with the final aim of raising the quality of the wines.
The Librandi Company, in particular, has always believed in the potential of the vine and has pursued a project to enhance the Gaglioppo. The research started with a mass selection of old trees in the Cirò area, chosen according to the presence of small bunches and berries, tendentially sparse, suitable for producing low yields. The material was then replanted in experimental vineyards, with the aim of isolating the best clones. This initial project was accompanied through the creation of an experimental field of seed plants, with the aim of observing the genetic variability of the cultivar and selecting the best
Finally, Nicodemo Librandi and Davide De Santis have toured the whole of Calabria in search of old native clones of gaglioppo and other Calabrian vines. In 2003 a varietal garden was created with over 2,800 samples of the collected material. Gaglioppo and the ancient native vines were studied through DNA analysis, grapes and micro-vinification, coordinated by the Enosis laboratory of Donato Lanati. The Librandi Company is also experimenting on rootstocks in order to find the best solution in relation to the composition of the land and the characteristics of the cultivar. The road to a progressive qualitative improvement of the material in the vineyard has been traced and will bear fruit in the future. As for the forms of breeding, still today we prefer the traditional Greek vines, which covers about 70% of the gaglioppo vineyard area. Handled with short pruning and high plant density, the sapling ensures high quality grapes and adapts perfectly to the climate of the cirothane territory.
For the research work on gaglioppo, Librandi certainly deserves a prominent
place among the producers of Cirò. It produces Cirò Rosso and Cirò Rosso
Classico Superiore RiservaDuca SanFelice, which ages for three years in
steel and combines the fragrant varietal freshness of the grapes with elegant
Librandi has a variety of winery visit options.
Librandi Antonio & Nicodemo S.p.A.
S.S. 106 – C.da S. Gennaro
Cirò Marina (KR)