Cirò, a small Calabrian town on the Ionian coast of Crotone, includes a wide territory stretching from the shores of the Ionian Sea up to the first ridges of its excellent hills, where the autochthonous species of vines contributing to the production of the renowned wine Cirò D.O.C1 are situated from time. This territory includes both the ancient town of Cirò, rising in a dominating position on top of three hills, and the present-day town of Cirò Marina, which extends over the plane: these are the most fertile and luxuriant soles destined to wine growing.
The history of Cirò is bound to the landing of the Greek settlers on the coast of Punta Alice. Their landing on the coast was probably favoured by the encounter between these generous and rich hills; the Greek colonists founded the city of Crimissa, today’s Cirò Marina, which in the course of time flourished and had the reputation of being a sacred city due to the presence of the temple of Apollo Aleus and of other places of worship: the temples of Venus, Bacchus and Juno.
A foreground place in its flourishing economy was occupied by olive groves and vine, which the Greek settlers spread also as far as the slopes of the hills. The vineyards of Crimissa, already well-known since ancient times, are still a source of richness for the inhabitants of Cirò. According to an ancient legend, which on the other hand has been handed down by several Greek and Latin historians, the nectar of the gods was opposed on earth by the nectar of the heroes, of the athletes. It is told that to the winners of the games of Olympia were given, through a charming ritual, a particular tasty wine called Crimissa.
The dust of time does not always erase the memory of men’s things: on the contrary, the virtue of things itself often rescues them from oblivion and perpetuates them in the reality that is renewed. This is what happened to the “Olympic” wine, now called “Cirò”, from the place where the modern Crimissa stands and where they go on producing with modern techniques that famous wine which was also mentioned by Pliny the Elder and defined by the Englishman Norman Douglas as a “precious nectar” and which Cunsolo rightly considers as “the most ancient wine existing in the whole world”.