Today we left Puglia and set our sights for Calabria and specifically the wines of Serracavallo. The landscape is beautiful and rugged, full of rolling hills that have been cultivated for olives, lemons, and of course, grapes. With plantations some 600m above sea level, the vines (and people!) enjoy constant gentle winds, warm sunny days of up to 40⁰C and sunshine, and nice cool nights that drop to 20⁰C providing optimal conditions for the grapes they have planted.
Demetrio, the owner of Serracavallo, decided that it was important to plant autoctonal varieties native to this land which were brought to Calabria by the ancient Greeks. These grapes include Magliocco and Pecorello. They have also planted international varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon and use these to blend with the others. Serracavallo has 55 hectares 10 of which are dedicated to olive groves. Their annual wine production is approximately 80,000 bottles.
We enjoyed a beautiful lunch in their room with a view of the mountains, each course paired with one of their wines. After lunch we stepped out onto the terrace that boasts a breathtaking view of the valleys below.
Perhaps the highlight of the visit was a personal tour of the fields with Demetrio himself and all of us loaded on the back of tractor! It was great fun! Serracavallo exports through Europe, the US and Japan but alas, not Canada.