Ascari Enoteca is excited to host our next Up Close & Personal guest as he’s shown us the beautiful expressions of the little known Galioppo varietal, which delivered one of the most outstanding rosés introduced to us this year. On Thursday, November 2nd from 6:00pm onward, Cataldo Calabretta from Calabria, Italy will be hanging out with us and pouring his wines for you. He’ll be on his way down to RAW in NYC so catch him here before he heads south! As per our usual UC&P format, this is a casual event, no tickets required but we recommend making a reservation for dinner as these evenings tend to book up quickly.

Cataldo will be pouring the following wines:

  • Cirò Rosato
  • Cirò Bianco
  • 2014 & 2015 Cirò Rosso
  • 2013 Cirò Rosso Riserva

Call us for a reservation, 416.792.4157. We and our co-host Context Wines are looking forward to seeing you!

Ascari Enoteca

1111 Queen Street East, Toronto


Cataldo represents the fourth generation of a family of winemakers. After studying Enology and Viticulture at the Faculty of Agriculture of Milan, he worked for a few years in a number of Italian wineries. Then, in 2008, he and his sisters decided to refurbish the old family cellars and write a new chapter in their lives. 

For over 10 years the estate is run according to the principles of organic farming, an ethical choice, which year after year is paying off: they have renewed the vineyards, continuing to cultivate the grape variety Gaglioppo on hilly land located in the heart of the historic production zone of “DOC Cirò”.

The grape harvest is done manually using crates. They do not use selected yeasts or activators for fermentation of any kind. In addition, they try to minimize the use of sulfites. In the cellar they renewed an old cement cuve, which is excellent for the ageing of Cirò wine.


The territory of Cirò is, for surface and history, the most important wine-growing reality in Calabria. Vines are grown in this area since the time of the ancient Greek colonies. In fact, the place where the vineyards are cultivated today, once stood Krimisa. At the fall of the Roman Empire the vineyards were abandoned, the return of viticulture in the territory of Cirò reappears only after 550 AC, when Justinian reconquered these lands from the Visigoth domain. After that, the Basilian Fathers and people of Armenian origin gave a new drive to the wine production. In that period was founded of Ypsicron, nowadays Cirò. In the following centuries the population selected the grape varieties that better suited the terroir. One of these varieties is the Gaglioppo, which is the main grape variety of the historic production zone of Cirò DOC.

The territory of Cirò is the one that characterizes the Ionian coast of Calabria: narrow strips of flat land ending on beaches. Behind this flat area, hilly lands are crossed by rivers. It is precisely in that area that the best vineyards are located, must of them are bush trained.


At Ascari Enoteca we have been fortunate to meet many of the unique personalities behind the wines we pour. We would like you to meet them too. We consider our ‘Up Close & Personal’ wine series as the anti-wine dinner; a continuing series of commitment-free evenings, conceived of as an alternative to expensive, multi-course winemaker dinners. We will be welcoming winemakers from around the world and closer to home. In addition to our regular menu and wine list, we will be offering a selection of their wines by the glass or by the bottle. Our guests will be spending evenings with us pouring their wines at your table, chatting about anything you may find interesting, sharing their passion and having a glass and a plate of food themselves.

If you enjoy hearing the winemakers tell you their stories and the stories of their wines, these are rare opportunities to personally meet the people behind the bottles and the labels. Ask them anything, or just relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour.