Gaglioppo - rare grape of Calabria

GAGLIOPPO is a rare and special grape, ideal for any dedicated wine-lovers’ collection.

It may be largely unknown outside Italy but it has certainly gained a following among Italian wine aficionados. 


Gaglioppo is indigenous to Calabria (the ‘toe’ of Italy) but has been planted further afield in other regions of south Italy and even as far north as Abruzzo, Umbria and Marche.

It has sometimes been mistaken for a relative of the Aglianico grape variety (itself a special and endemic grape, indigenous to nearby Campania). It shares some genetic characteristics with Sangiovese and may well be one of its many offspring or mutations. It has been speculated that it could be a distant relative of the Nebbiolo grape. A definite lineage has yet to be confirmed.


Expect a medium to full-bodied red from the Gaglioppo grape; however, it is usually a good deal LIGHTER and FRESHER that wines from its neighbouring southern Italian grapes such as Aglianico, Negroamaro or Primitivo.

Look for notes of SPICE, ROSE and RED BERRY, with sweet tannins and a long finish. In the case of varietals*, it is often aged in the bottle to soften and form a more rounded wine.

* Varietal wines are wines made with a single grape variety, sometimes called single-variety or mono-variety wines and the grape name is commonly used as the name for the wine.

Thanks to the 'red fruit' notes it is quite distinct, compared to many other grapes typical of south Italy (that often feature black fruit notes). Very loosely, you can think of Gaglioppo wines as being closer in style to a moderate-warm climate Pinot Nero/Noir (with more tannin), or an approachable Nebbiolo (with less tannin). 


Gaglioppo is a great choice to pair with many hearty dishes; from tomato-based pasta or pizza, to grilled meats.

Try a glass with roasted Mediterranean vegetables or a dish with garlic and fresh chilli.


The iGreco winery have a delicious 100% Gaglioppo wine called CATA, which caught the eye of world-famous Italian winemaker Riccardo Cotarella – who requested a role in the production just to be part of the exploration of this interesting and highly endemic grape.


Find out more about this grape by trying different wines in the Once Upon A Vine portfolio that feature Gaglioppo: click here.