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Know Your Variety - Nero d'Avola

Adam Walls introduces the Italian stallion, Nero d'Avola, which is proving to be a hero of both the vineyard and the wine glass.

Translating as 'black grape of Avola', Nero d'Avola hails from the Italian town after which it is named. It didn't arrive in Australia until 1998 and while it's not widely known, it's proving to be a delicious drink.

The beauty of Nero d'Avola is that in extreme heat it retains its acidity, which is music to the ears of our warm climate winemakers, who can craft a red that has refreshing acidity, making it beautifully balanced.

Like its Italian friend Fiano, Nero d'Avola is also an environmentally sound choice as it doesn't ask much of our precious water supplies.

Nero d'Avola an Infographic Guide

Australian Nero davola wine infographic

Origins

The Italian town of Avola is on Sicily and Nero d'Avola is considered the island's most important red wine grape. While initially only planted on the southern tip of Sicily by visiting Greeks, it's now grown all over the island and thrives in the hot, arid conditions. Nero d'Avola has historically been considered a blending variety, only recently emerging as a trendy mono-varietal.

Australian Nero d'Avola Regions

Like Fiano, which I talked about last time, Nero d'Avola is a perfect grape choice for Australia given its love of hot, dry climates. On the Tasting Panel, we've seen some beautiful examples from moderate to warm climates like the Barossa ValleyMcLaren ValeRiverlandHeathcote and Murray Darling.

Nero a'Avola Tasting Notes

Nero d'Avola is made in two different styles. The first is fragrant and crunchy, light to medium bodied, almost like Pinot Noir. The second is dark and densely coloured with black fruits and spice and a weight more reminiscent 
of Shiraz.

In Australia, you're more likely to come across the first style, as our Nero d'Avola vines are younger and therefore have not got to the point of producing more robust wines.

Food Matching

The high acidity that characterises Nero d'Avola means it will work well with any of your favourite tomato-based recipes. For the lighter styles think grilled fish and light meats in Mediterranean-style dishes. You can even chill these styles on a warm day. The richer ones are more suited to braised dishes and curries. Explore our great range of recipes here

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The time is ripe for Rosé – spring afternoons and evenings are perfect for relishing the refreshing, savoury characters of fabulous Australian drops. But, as you sit back and sip its deliciousness, do you ever wonder exactly how Rosé is made? Up until a few years ago, Australian winemakers made Rosé as an afterthought, says Tasting Panellist Adam Walls . “Whereas now, the wines are being made deliberately, with designated parcels of fruit that have been picked specifically to be turned into Rosé.”  As Hunter Valley winemaker Mike De Iuliis explains, “There are two distinct keys to making quality Rosé. First is the variety that is being used, and second is timing of harvest.” There are many different styles of wine and as Mike describes, “Rosé is quite a personalised wine and at De Iuliis, we are looking to produce a style that is bright, fresh and vibrant. We also try to produce a drier, more savoury style that is built around texture and acidity rather than sugar and fruit.”  So, how is Rosé made? The Maceration Method Just like red wine, Rosés pick up their colour from the skin of red wine grapes. The winemaker can determine the depth of colour in the wine by deciding how long to leave the juice in contact with the skins, typically anywhere from 2 to 24 hours – the shorter the time, the lighter the colour. The amount of time a winemaker leaves the juice in contact with the skins, Hunter Valley winemaker Mike De Iuliis explains: 

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- Mike De Iuliis, De Iuliis Wines - Hunter Valley
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- Andrew Margan, Margan Wines
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Know Your Variety - Australian Fiano
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Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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