Nero d'avola Wine Variety

From Sicily to Australia this is a
seriously stylish red wine variety

Vinodiversity thinks that this could become the premium red wine variety in Australia.

A few descriptors of Nero d'Avola

Nero d'Avola is a red wine variety from Sicily. It makes up most of that island's red wine vineyard.

The Nero in the name obviously refers to the colour of the grapes. d'Avola refers to the town and region of Avola in the south-eastern corner of Sicily where this variety produces some fine wines.

Although Nero d'Avola has an alternative name of Calabrese suggesting its origin on the neighbouring mainland region of Italy it is doubtful if the variety was ever grown there. This issue is discussed at length in Jancis Robinson's 2012 publication Wine Grapes.

Nero d'avola In Australia

Nero d'Avola thrives in the RiverlandNero d'Avola thrives in the Riverland. Photo from Bassham Wines

This variety is one of several from Southern Italy that are of interest to winemakers in warm to hot conditions. As more grapegrowers and winemakers become concerned about climate change they are increasingly looking for wine varieties from Southern Italian Regions rather than the cooler North.

Nero d'Avola is favoured in warmer climates for two reasons. Firstly as a late ripening variety the critical last month of maturation is more likely to be after the hottest part of summer. Steady ripening in this last few weeks of the growing season is a major factor in wine quality.

Secondly the variety seems to be less susceptible to berry damage during heat waves.

I believe this variety has a huge future in Australia. It is suitable for most of the warmer areas of this country and will quickly break out from it's current habitats of mainly McLaren Vale and Riverland in South Australia. It has great potential in areas like Bendigo, Heathcote, The Pyrenees and Rutherglen in Victoria, as well as most of the inland regions of New South Wales.

A possible limitation of the variety is its susceptibility to fungal diseases so that it may not do well in regions where there is rain at harvest time.

prize winning Nero's

At the 2017 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS)  24 Neros were judged. One Gold medal,  two Slivers and 15 Bronze medals were awarded.  

Hither and Yon's 2017 Nero d'Avola was awarded the trophy for Best Wine in the Show.

It is Interesting to note that there is now a trophy for the best Nero d'Avola in the Show.


  • Bailey's of Glenrowan SPXX Glenrowan
  • Bassham SPXX Riverland
  • Beach Road SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Bellwether SPXX Coonawarra
  • Bird in Hand SPXX Adelaide Hills
  • Brash Higgins SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Brown Brothers SPXX King Valley
  • Bunyip Hollow SPXX North East Victoria
  • By Jingo SPXX Adelaide Hills
  • Calabria Family Wines SPXX Riverina
  • Chalmers SPXX Heathcote
  • Collins and Co Wines SPXX Barossa Valley
  • Coriole SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Delinquente Wine SPXX Riverland
  • Eldorado Road SPXX North East Victoria
  • Fox Gordon SPXX Barossa Valley
  • Golden Grove Estate SPXX Granite Belt
  • Hither and Yon SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Hugh Hamilton SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Kay Bros Amery SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Lino Ramble SPXX McLaren Vale
  • McCarthy's Orchard SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Montevecchio SPXX Heathcote
  • Mount Eyre Vineyards SPXX Hunter Valley
  • Mount Horrocks SPXX Clare Valley
  • Parish Hill Wines SPXX Adelaide Hills
  • Pertaringa SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Politini SPXX King Valley
  • Pyren Vineyard SPXX Pyrenees
  • Rouleur SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Sabella Wines SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Salena Estate SPXX Riverland
  • Samuels Gorge SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Scott and La Prova SPXX Adelaide Hills
  • Sherrah SPXX McLaren Vale
  • Springton Hills SPXX Eden Valley
  • Susuro SPXX Adelaide Hills
  • Taminick Cellars SPXX Glenrowan
  • Taylors SPXX Clare Valley
  • Tellurian SPXX Heathcote
  • Trentham Estate SPXX Murray Darling
  • Vigna Bottin SPXX McLaren Vale
Updated 4 July 2018

More Italian red wine varieties used in Australia

Aglianico | Aleatico | Barbera | Canaiolo Nero | Colorino | Corvina | Dolcetto | Lagrein | Mammolo | Marzemino | Montepulciano | Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Primitivo | Refosco | Rondinella | Sagrantino | Sangiovese | Teroldego | Zinfandel

Nero d'avola and food

These wines are often soft and drinkable making them versatile for when and with what you serve them.

The richness and spiciness of Nero d'Avola can be used to accompany some of the sweet and sour Sicilian Dishes such as Caponata a Sicilian dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant, green olives, capers and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar.

Pasta Norma, made with eggplants is another typical Sicilian dish to pair with Nero. 

You will also find that they go well with slightly spicy cuisine such as Moroccan tagines.

Caponata. Source By Massimoweb - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16891038

More Italian red wine varieties used in Australia

Aglianico | Aleatico | Barbera | Canaiolo Nero | Colorino | Corvina | Dolcetto | Lagrein | Mammolo | Marzemino | Montepulciano | Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Primitivo | Refosco | Rondinella | Sagrantino | Sangiovese | Teroldego | Zinfandel

Learn More about Grape varieties

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal TableDe Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

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De Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

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Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz

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