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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Ciro Marina, Calabria
People: Giuseppe Ippolito, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
The town of Ciro Marina sits on the Ionian Sea facing Greece, the land from which the “local” grapes of this area originated, transported across the sea nearly 3,000 years ago. The area remains primitive and raw in a certain sense with sea breezes cooling the zone and steep hillsides just meters inland that sit as a backdrop to the ocean setting and provide a challenging but compelling site for the vines of Galliopo, Malvasia Nera and Greco Nero.
Du Cropio in local dialect means “doctor of agronomy” and reflects the fact that the Ippolito family has long been involved in the growing of grapes in the region. The estate encompasses a total of thirty hectares, eight of which are on the plains immediately inland from and within the confines of the town of Ciro Marina and twenty-two of which are tucked into the hillsides surrounding the village of Ciro, several more miles inland and at a considerably higher elevation. The soil, a mix of clay and limestone, is poor with excellent drainage which is reinforced by the steeply sloped hillside vineyards, conditions that are ideal for producing small crops of highly concentrated fruit. Most of the grapes harvested at the estate are sold either at the time of harvest or as bulk wine thereafter. Then, the finest wines are kept to be vinified at the estate and sold as Du Cropio.
Three red wines are produced: a Calabria Rosso called "Serra Sanguigna," a Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore known as "Don Giuva" and a Ciro Rosso Riserva named "Damis." The vineyards are maintained according to organic principles with some of the vineyards now being worked by horse and plow. At harvest, the grapes are crushed and undergo the primary fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks; then, the wines are ultimately racked into large oak barrels to age before being bottled. The wines are neither fined nor filtered and they are left to age further in bottle for 18 months before being released to the market.