Naturally, drinking wine has been a part of my experience living in Calabria. I mean...duh. But to be honest, I haven't spent too much time getting to know the local wines beyond grabbing one that looks good (yes, judging a book by its cover) off the shelf at the grocery store.
What I love here is that really good wine can be bought for under $10.
Recently, I got a little more up close and personal with what, in my meager experience, I consider the best wine in the region.
Siamo a Statti
A few weeks ago when I went olive-picking at Agriturismo Costantino, I met Paola, the affable and adorable owner of Eimí Experience. As they say, it's all about who you know, because she invited Lilly of Calabria Dreaming and I to tour Cantine Statti, the winery where she leads tours.
Statti is located about 40 minutes from where I live, in the heart of Lamezia Terme. It's the oldest vineyard in Calabria, first established in 1784. While it's rare for wines to be exported from Calabria, Statti does export all over the world.
Like every place in Calabria that I've been to, Statti has breathtaking views. (Seriously? How is it possible that EVERYWHERE is so damn beautiful? But it's true). The estate of vines and olive trees stretches wide across the region and is at an interesting junction between the Ionian and Adriatic seas. This is, says Paola, what gives the wine its unique terroir. Or at least that's what I think she says with my limited Italian.
Lilly and I piggybacked on a tour of Germans visiting Statti. Not speaking German, we followed Paola's Italian before it was translated for the others. We saw where the grapes are turned into wine over the course of a year, met the family cows, and visited the cellar where the sparkling wines are produced using the Méthode Champenoise. (While only wine produced in the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne, other wineries around the world produce bubbly using its unique method of fermenting in the bottle.
That's All Great...But How Does it Taste?
After our tour, we were seated in a large tasting room and given generous glasses of red, white, and rosato wines. Typically I'm not as big a fan of white wine, but their Lamezia Bianco was my favorite of all that we tried.
The best news? Bottles averaged about $10 to buy! Even in little ole Temecula in California, wines at a winery would cost upwards of $20. Just another of the perks of living in a hidden gem!
While it's unlikely you'll find Statti wine at your local American wine shop, you should definitely stop by and try some when you visit Calabria.