“ Every ancient history book attests that Italy was once dubbed Enotria due to the massive vineyard cultivation practiced there more than in any other place. And from this I think that a sure hypothesis can be drawn, which is that this land of ours deserved, more than any other, this ancient reputation and this name not only because of the nature of its soil and the pleasant weather, but also because of the vineyard cultivation and vine production, so that it is not necessary to look for witnesses or scholars more expert than Italian ones as far as the nature of the wines and their different types and qualities is concerned”.  (Bacci Andrea, De Naturali Vinorun Historia)

Talking about wine or vineyards in Policoro means, therefore, talking about Enotria and Magna Grecia, and, specifically, about the cult of Dionysus and the bronze “Tavole di Herakleia”, written in ancient greek on one side and latin on the other, describing the contractual arrangements and policies that regulated the cultivation of vine. Policoro lies, in fact, beneath the “Castello Baronale”, on the hill on which it was founded, around the V century b.C. and from the ashes of Siris, Heracleia, also known for being the site where the epic battle between Pirro and the Romans was fought. At the “chora” of Herakeia were vines and vineyards belonging to the sanctuaries of Dionysus and Athena, which were given for rent with enhancement requirements, underling the importance of the product for the territory both in terms of production and of social background. On the border with Herakleia’s “chora” was Pandosia, founded by the Enotri people and, specifically, by Enotro, one of Licaone’s 23 children, many centuries before Rome, confirming the fertility of the land earmarked by vocation to wine production. The strategic position of rich and prosperous Herakleia, seat of the Italiot league, federate by Rome, occupied by Hannibal and plundered by Spartacus, seat between two great rivers, the Agri and the Sinni, navigable at the time, connected to the ancient “via Herculea” that would rise back up the Agri valley for more than 60 km to the roman city of Grumentum, facilitated the connections and so a quick expansion towards Rome, while, years back, the harbor located by the mouth of the Siris river promoted the economic development of the polis through the trades with ancient Greece. It is sure that, if Basilicata has the merit, by this day, to produce great wines, certainly nobles and of high quality, the cultivation of vine represents the hereinafter of the long standing viticulture tradition placed within our area, surely testifying, now as then, a particular terroir, in which our vineyards stand out. Enotria, “Ancient land, powerful for the weapons and for the fruitfulness of the soil” (Omero)