Top 10 Winery Visits in Puglia and Calabria

I hope that on one of your future trips to Italy, you’ll consider the southern areas of Puglia and Calabria.

They are so different than Tuscany and with one wonderful feature: they are by and large devoid of tourists. In fact you will be hard pressed to find any tourists in most of Calabria, which is good and bad. Bad because the infrastructure is not there to handle tourists and you’ll need an extra dose of patience.

So here they are: my top 10 winery visits of Puglia and Calabria, in no particular order:

Statti in Lamezia Terme: come not just for the winery visit but also to view the 30,000 olive tress and 800 head of cattle.

à Vita in Cirò: a true Mom/Pop operationwith minuscule production but wonderful wines and a warm welcome.

Librandi in Cirò: the largest winery and one of the best in all of Calabria. They don’t have a restaurant but if you contact Paolo Librandi directly, maybe he can convince his cousin Francesco to cook a meal for you.

Tre Pini in Puglia: another small operation that gets top awards for its wines, including wines with 17% alcohol that are delicious; and they have a restaurant

Ceraudo in Cirò: come for their wines (Tre Bicchieri awards), come for their food (1 star Michelin) and come for their B&B.

Ippolito in Cirò: superb wines, modern tasting room and excellent wines

Leone de Castris near Lecce: the granddaddy of Puglia with a long history complete with an historic tasting room; and they have a restaurant.

Giancarlo Ceci somewhere in the hinterlands of Puglia: in a former monastery, warm welcome and superb wines

Cantele near Lecce: top wines with a wide selection, and a modern winery

Viglione, somewhere in the hinterlands of Puglia, with a tasting room in a remodeled old building.

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