Every year, several sporting events are sponsored by beverage companies or important wine companies. This practice might look very modern and used in our modern society, but it’s actually as old as Ancient Greece; as a matter of fact, Krimisa was the official wine of the Olympics and it was a wine made in the southern Italian region of Calabria. The wine was so precious and had so much value that only the winners could be blessed with a sip of this special juice.

Curious to learn more? Follow us on a trip down to Greek mythology and the ancient art of winemaking.

Brief Historical Background

The history of the Olympic wine dates back to when the Greeks first landed on the Ionic coast of Calabria and decided to cultivate that fertile land they called “Enotria”. The Greeks were very skilled winegrowers and winemakers, so they knew how to get the best out of every harvest and how to make the vines lasting longer than normal crops. The production of Krimisa was focused around the area of the actual Crotone. More precisely, the name of the wine of winners comes from Cremissa, a Greek colony in the modern province of Crotone, where there was a temple dedicated to Baccus, the God of Wine. Cremissa is today called Cirò Marina, and Krimisa wine is now known as Cirò.

Modern Days Cirò

Cirò wine was the first wine from Calabria to receive the DOC status in 1969 and is only produced in the municipalities of Cirò and Cirò Marina (it’s also allowed in the municipalities of Melissa and Crucoli). Cirò is best known in its red variety, made with 95% of Gaglioppo, a red grape of Greek origins, and 5% of Trebbiano. Red Cirò can be Classico, Superiore of Riserva in its finest variety.

The relationship between Cirò and its Olympic heritage is still present and even the Olympic Committee recognizes its importance. Indeed, at the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968 and at the Athens Olympics Games in 2004, winners were given a bottle of Cirò. Actually, in Athens athletes were given a bottle of Krimisa Cirò DOC Superiore, a variety produced from selected grapes from the historical vineyards.

Discover the magical Calabria wine region, where legends and myths from Ancient Greece meet Italian traditions.

To better protect, control and deliver the highest possible quality of Cirò DOC, a Consortium was founded in 2003. The Consorzio di Tutela Vini DOC Cirò e Melissa takes into account the necessities of winemakers and all those working in the production of Cirò and Melissa. The aim of the Consortium is to safeguard the heritage and identity of Cirò, since the production of this unique wine has always been connected to the history of the territory itself. What is important is to preserve the winning relationship between man, land and a rich history that made Cirò and Melissa appreciated worldwide.