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Mediterranean Heart

Enotria: the land where grapes are grown and wine is produced.

We know it today with the name of Calabria.

Territory

Calabria: a world of incomparable beauty, enclosed between two seas that turn from crystal clear to deep blue. Its mountains shift between landscapes that are beyond compare: rugged peaks capped with snow in the winter, steep cliffs that plunge into the sea, sweeping valleys with lakes and pastures.
The ancient Greeks colonised this lush and fertile land and called it Oenotria: the land where the grapes are grown and the wine is produced.

Terroir

Cirò represents the history and soul of Calabrian grapevines and wine. Its plains and hills overlooking the sea split up in a huge number of subareas, each with its own character and its peculiarities. Our varieties took deep roots in this land that has been embracing them for centuries, donating in exchange their unique grapes and wines.

A little further South, we find river Neto’s mouth with its wildlife oasis charm. The river originates in the heart of Sila mountains, and after running through clefts covered in lush vegetation it widens in the eponymous valley, creating an ecosystem among the most ecologically and naturalistically interesting: a unique, untainted place.

Our Neto valley vineyards, placed between the Ionian Sea and La Sila, reflect the open-heartedness quality of this land, where sea and mountains meet to generate a great biodiversity.

Quality

I Vignaioli del Cirò

Every year, in addition to the grapes we produce ourselves, we use quality grapes coming exclusively from the Cirò Doc region.
To encourage this strong link between our selected suppliers and ourselves, with the aim of a shared growth in terms of our expertise and the quality of the final products, in 2008 we founded the association "I Vignaioli del Cirò" ("The Winemakers of Cirò"), which now counts 42 members.
The main function of "I Vignaioli del Cirò" is to share purpose, knowledge and strategies to reach our goals together, the most important being a constant improvement in the quality of wine production, both ours and of the whole region.

Research and experimentation

Why

We started with two simple thoughts in mind: our awareness of the extent and richness of our wine-making heritage, and the notable absence of scientific literature about our main varieties. It was therefore a desire to preserve, modernise and promote the characteristics of our varieties that led us to begin this adventure.   

Research and experimentation

Stages

1993

In our Duca Sanfelice estate, located in Ponta, Cirò (Kr), we planted our first experimental field with the following grape varieties: Magliocco, Arvino, Mantonico Bianco and Pecorello. The vinification tests would then determine their various winemaking potential;

2000

The Rosaneti vineyard in the Rocca di Neto (Kr) area had been acquired three years before; after a systematic study of the soil, an experimental field was planted to compare presumed clones of 25 native varieties. Pre-harvest samples were taken and comparative vineyard microvinification was carried out for 5 years.

2001

A systemic research was conducted throughout Calabria, in search of undiscovered and endangered native varieties, in collaboration with Professor Attilio Scienza of the University of Milan.

2002

At the Rosaneti vineyard in the Rocca di Neto (Kr) area, an experimental field was planted with 2,786 plants grown from seeds (seedlings) as well as non-grafted plants obtained through self-fertilisation, with the aim of allowing Gaglioppo and Magliocco Dolce to express their intra-varietal variability and to achieve maximum genetic expression.

2003

A collection field of native Calabrian vines was planted, a proper varietal garden that currently holds about 200 varieties collected from throughout the region and arranged in series of 10 plants for each type, in a vineyard with the traditional spiral shape.

2004

An experimental comparison field of Magliocco Dolce was planted at the Rosaneti vineyard in the Rocca di Neto area with different rootstocks, including 4 experimental M series rootstocks from the University of Milan.

2005

The study of the collection's native varieties included: a DNA study to determine their genetic relations, conducted by Dr Maria Stella Grando of the San Michele all’Adige Agrarian Institutie (IASMA); a careful historical, bibliographic and ampelographic study conducted by Dr Anna Schneider of the Institute of Plant Virology at the Turin office of the National Research Council; a virological study to determine the plants' health led by Dr Franco Mannini of the Institute of Plant Virology's Grugliasco Unit at the Turin office of the National Research Council; a very articulate enological study led by Dr Donato Lanati, Enology Professor at the University of Turin, at its ENOSIS MERAVIGLIA Centre of Cuccaro Monferrato.

2008

The result of this technical and scientific work carried out on native varieties was published in the book IL GAGLIOPPO E I SUOI FRATELLI – I vitigni autoctoni calabresi (GAGLIOPPO AND ITS BROTHERS - Native Calabrian vines), complete with historical and anthropological notions as well as technical and scientific concepts, which allowed us to re-order questions about the regional grapevine germplasm and collect information on the enological potential of the cultivated varieties.

A homologation field was planted at the Rosaneti vineyard in Rocca di Neto (Kr) for the clonal selection of 24 virus-free clones (Gaglioppo, Magliocco Dolce and Pecorello) in repeated plots; clonal selection began with these plants along with a careful analysis of their genetic expression.

2012

At our Critone estate in Strongoli (KR), we planted an experimental field to compare 22 seedlings that had been selected and analysed in collaboration with the Research Council of Conegliano Veneto.

Publication of the scientific essay entitled VITIGNI DI CALABRIA – Selezione e Potenzialità Enologiche (GRAPES OF CALABRIA - Selection and Wine-Making Potential), which explains the agronomic and enological characterisation of three important Calabrian grape varieties through clonal selection.

2014

Publication of the book CALABRIA - valorizzare con metodi moderni un'antica vocazione vinicola (CALABRIA - enhance an ancient wine-making tradition with modern methods), which was the result of scientific and experimental work, as well as the synergy of several researchers of the Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture CRA-VIT of Conegliano, the National Research Council in Turin and Enosis Meraviglia in Fubine (AL). The work carried out and recorded in the book aimed at further improving the overall quality of Calabrian wine.  

Registration of the first Calabrian cultivar clones in the Italian Register of Grapevine Varieties: 4 Gaglioppo, 4 Magliocco and 2 Pecorello b.

2015

Publication of the book I vignaioli del Cirò (The winemakers of Cirò) - the voices and faces of a story, Rubbettino. It is the story of our company's experience with the association of winemakers.

2016

A homologation field was planted at the Rosaneti winery in Rocca di Neto (Kr) for the clonal selection of minor native Calabrian recovered varieties (Gaglioppo, Arvino, Guarnaccia, Marchesana, Toccarino, Iuvarello, Mantonico and Greco bianco).

Research and experimentation

Results

First screening and cultivation of local varieties

In 2000 an experimental field was set up to compare presumed clones of 25 native varieties. For five years we took pre-harvest samples and carried out comparative microvinification, which allowed us to identify the most interesting varieties.

Genetic improvement through the inbreeding of two varieties

In 2002 the second experimental field was set up, hosting 2.786 plants of the most important red grape varieties grown in the region: Gaglioppo and Magliocco Dolce.
After these presumed clones had self-fertilised, we selected the plants with better features than their parent plants.

Genetic and health improvement of Calabrian cultivars through clonal selection

Calabria is the most important source of vine germplasm in Italy, the region which boasts the largest number of vine varieties.
We carried out a clonal selection alongside an health-based selection in order to obtain healthy clones which were homogeneous in terms of their behavioural profile and had significant wine-making potential.
In 2012, the results of this study led us to publish the scientific essay VITIGNI DI CALABRIA – Selezione e Potenzialità Enologiche (GRAPES OF CALABRIA - Selection and Wine-Making Potential).

Collection of germplasm from local grapevines at risk of extinction

In 2003 a field was specifically created for native Calabrian vines; it currently houses around 200 species collected from throughout the region and arranged in a vineyard with the traditional spiral shape.
A very complex project was launched using these varieties, which includes, respectively: a DNA analysis; a thorough historical, bibliographical and ampelographic analysis; a virological analysis and finally, an oenological analysis. The results were published in the book IL GAGLIOPPO E I SUOI FRATELLI – I vitigni autoctoni calabresi (GAGLIOPPO AND HIS BROTHERS - Native Calabrian grapevines).

Registration of the first clones of three important Calabrian cultivars in the Italian Register of Grapevine Varieties

In 2014, the long-standing collaboration between Librandi, IPSP-CNR and Enosis allowed us to select and register the first Calabrian cultivar clones in the Italian Register of Grapevine Varieties: 4 Gaglioppo, 4 Magliocco Dolce and 2 Pecorello.

Recovery of clones affected by viruses

Alongside our homogenisation activities, we are also working to recover clones affected by viruses using meristem culture and in vitro thermotherapy techniques, to broaden the virus-free clonal base of the main cultivars and to recover healthy progenitor plants for minor or rare varieties.
The "primary source" of each clone is kept in safe conditions at the screenhouse of the Vivalb nursery in the suburb of Vaccheria in Alba (province of Cuneo), in collaboration with the National Research Council of Turin.

In 2016, the healed clones were finally planted in one of our company's new experimental homogenisation fields.

Detection of interaction between vines/rootstocks/land

In the phase prior to the widespread use of new selections, it is particularly useful to test, in the field, the suitability of several graft combinations that can be used with the selected material.

To this end, in 2012, in our Critone estate in the Strongoli countryside, we created an experimental vineyard by grafting the same Gaglioppo clone onto 20 different rootstocks. The selected clone is well-suited in terms of its ability to resist viral diseases and its optimal farming and wine-making potential. The clone can therefore fully express the grape's potential. Based on the data collected, the results allow us to identify certain graft combinations that can positively reinforce the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the Gaglioppo in the warm and dry environment of the Cirò region.

The results of this technical-scientific task were published in a scientific essay entitled Studio per l’individuazione dei portinnesti più adatti alla coltivazione del Gaglioppo (Study to identify the most suitable rootstocks for the cultivation of Gaglioppo), Rubbettino, 2015.

First screening and cultivation of local varieties

In 2000 an experimental field was set up to compare presumed clones of 25 native varieties. For five years we took pre-harvest samples and carried out comparative microvinification, which allowed us to identify the most interesting varieties.

Genetic improvement through the inbreeding of two varieties

In 2002 the second experimental field was set up, hosting 2.786 plants of the most important red grape varieties grown in the region: Gaglioppo and Magliocco Dolce.
After these presumed clones had self-fertilised, we selected the plants with better features than their parent plants.

Genetic and health improvement of Calabrian cultivars through clonal selection

Calabria is the most important source of vine germplasm in Italy, the region which boasts the largest number of vine varieties.
We carried out a clonal selection alongside an health-based selection in order to obtain healthy clones which were homogeneous in terms of their behavioural profile and had significant wine-making potential.
In 2012, the results of this study led us to publish the scientific essay VITIGNI DI CALABRIA – Selezione e Potenzialità Enologiche (GRAPES OF CALABRIA - Selection and Wine-Making Potential).

Collection of germplasm from local grapevines at risk of extinction

In 2003 a field was specifically created for native Calabrian vines; it currently houses around 200 species collected from throughout the region and arranged in a vineyard with the traditional spiral shape.
A very complex project was launched using these varieties, which includes, respectively: a DNA analysis; a thorough historical, bibliographical and ampelographic analysis; a virological analysis and finally, an oenological analysis. The results were published in the book IL GAGLIOPPO E I SUOI FRATELLI – I vitigni autoctoni calabresi (GAGLIOPPO AND HIS BROTHERS - Native Calabrian grapevines).

Registration of the first clones of three important Calabrian cultivars in the Italian Register of Grapevine Varieties

In 2014, the long-standing collaboration between Librandi, IPSP-CNR and Enosis allowed us to select and register the first Calabrian cultivar clones in the Italian Register of Grapevine Varieties: 4 Gaglioppo, 4 Magliocco Dolce and 2 Pecorello.

Recovery of clones affected by viruses

Alongside our homogenisation activities, we are also working to recover clones affected by viruses using meristem culture and in vitro thermotherapy techniques, to broaden the virus-free clonal base of the main cultivars and to recover healthy progenitor plants for minor or rare varieties.
The "primary source" of each clone is kept in safe conditions at the screenhouse of the Vivalb nursery in the suburb of Vaccheria in Alba (province of Cuneo), in collaboration with the National Research Council of Turin.

In 2016, the healed clones were finally planted in one of our company's new experimental homogenisation fields.

Detection of interaction between vines/rootstocks/land

In the phase prior to the widespread use of new selections, it is particularly useful to test, in the field, the suitability of several graft combinations that can be used with the selected material.

To this end, in 2012, in our Critone estate in the Strongoli countryside, we created an experimental vineyard by grafting the same Gaglioppo clone onto 20 different rootstocks. The selected clone is well-suited in terms of its ability to resist viral diseases and its optimal farming and wine-making potential. The clone can therefore fully express the grape's potential. Based on the data collected, the results allow us to identify certain graft combinations that can positively reinforce the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the Gaglioppo in the warm and dry environment of the Cirò region.

The results of this technical-scientific task were published in a scientific essay entitled Studio per l’individuazione dei portinnesti più adatti alla coltivazione del Gaglioppo (Study to identify the most suitable rootstocks for the cultivation of Gaglioppo), Rubbettino, 2015.

Research and experimentation

Insights

Targeting the most suitable rootstocks for the cultivation of Gaglioppo
Genetic improvement in native varieties
Genetic improvements through the inbreeding of 3 native varieties
Screening and collection of local varieties