What is Nero d'Avola?
Another Italian varietal to reach our sunny shores, Nero d'Avola is proving to be a hero of both the vineyard and the wine glass with Aussie wine lovers reaching out for this medium-weight red.
Nero d’Avola didn’t arrive in Australia until 1998. An absolute positive is that in extreme heat it retains its acidity, which is music to the ears of our warmer climate winemakers. This means they 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 for Australia as it doesn't ask much of our precious water supplies.
Without further ado, let’s drill down and get to understand a little more about this delicious drop.
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How Do You Pronounce Nero D'Avola?
While it looks difficult to get your tongue around, Nero d’Avola is easily pronounced as ‘nair-oh-da-vo-la’.
Translating as “black grape of Avola”, Nero d’Avola hails from the Italian town from which it’s named. It didn’t arrive in Australia until 1998 and while it’s not widely known, it’s proving to be a delicious drink.
Nero d’Avola pairs with richer tomato-based dishes that will be balanced by the tannins and higher acidity.
Nero D'Avola can be cellared for up to 10 years.
Nero D'Avola has a mid-weight profile.
Did you know, Nero d’Avola is now considered as a great single variety, rather than just a blending varietal?
Where Does Nero D'Avola Come From?
The Italian town of Avola is in 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.
Where Does Nero D'Avola Grow in Australia?
Nero d'Avola is a perfect grape choice for Australia given its love of hot, dry climates. Here, it thrives in moderate to warm climates that include the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Riverland, Heathcote and Murray Darling.
What Type of Wine is Nero D'Avola?
Nero D’Avola is a medium-bodied red wine.
“With its spicy fruits and supple savoury texture, Nero d’Avola will sweep you off your feet,” says Tasting Panel Co-Chair, Adam Walls.
Find out more about the variety in Adam's video here.
What Does Nero D'Avola Taste Like?
Nero d'Avola is made in two very 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 will take many more years before they’ll begin to produce more robust wines that are associated with aged vines.
What Other Wine Is Nero D'Avola Like?
Most Australian Nero d’Avola are a more delicate, fresher style. Most of these wines are medium-bodied, full of juicy black and red fruits with vibrant and lively acidity. They have immediate drinking in mind and would pique the interest of any lover of Pinot Noir or light bodied Grenache.
Is Nero D'Avola Similar to Shiraz?
Some Australian Nero D’Avola is made in a similar style to Shiraz – they tend to be dark and densely coloured in the glass, feature black fruits and spice, are fuller-bodied with more weight behind them.
Can You Cellar Nero D'Avola?
Given its higher levels of natural acidity, Australian Nero d’Avola has the potential to be cellared for up to 10 years.
What Foods Match With Nero D'Avola?
The high acidity that characterises Nero d'Avola means it especially pairs well with crowd-pleasing and tasty tomato-based recipes. For the lighter styles, try grilled fish and light meats in Mediterranean-style dishes. You can even chill these styles on a warm day. The richer expressions are more suited to braised dishes and curries.