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
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.
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 Valley, McLaren Vale, Riverland, Heathcote and
Nero d'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
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.
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