The History of Matera Wine

Vino Matera DOCOenotria: the land of the Wine Oenotria, Land of the Ooenotrians and land of the wine. This is one of the names that the Greeks gave to the Southern Italy and particularly to their colonies near Metaponto. This is one of the most important statistic and economic researches on wine production in Basilicata which demonstrates the wine vocation of our land. The Lucan wine history begun in 1300 b.C. which gets lost in the dim and distant past as a legend, but which finds confirmation in many documents of historiography and archaeology. In this respect, after palaeobotanical researches in Metaponto (in the area of Pantanello), seeds, fruit, vine plants, and even grapes and wooden remains of “Vitis vinifera” have been found. This plant was evidently cultivated on all the area since 4th century b.C.. Gaudioso’s report on the demographic growth (wanted by Charles III of Bourbon) underlined the high quality of the wine of Matera, Ferrandina, Irsina, Miglionico, Tricarico, Tursi, Pisticci, Pomarico, Grassano, Accettura, Cirigliano, Colobraro, Gorgoglione and Stigliano whose feud included Garaguso, Oliveto and Calciano. Therefore, the area of Matera is not a modern wine grower but it was so since the arrive of the first civilizations in this land.

For the history of Matera and its province, wine has been a unifying element between different cultures who have inhabitated this fertile lands. All this is testified by the presence of 96 cellars, of which 53 are in the quarter of Casalnuovo of Sasso Caveoso, a rupestrian settlement digged by Serbo-Croat grups in the 15th century. So, wine culture and production in this area represents the history of the populations who have inhabitated these lands and who have found strong elements of integration, making the wine the expression of interculture.