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. The issue of Nero's origins is discussed at length in Jancis Robinson's 2012 publication Wine Grapes.

Nero d'avola In Australia

This variety is one of several from Southern Italy that are of interest to winemakers in warm to hot conditions. As more grape growers 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 its current habitats of mainly McLaren Vale and Riverland in South Australia. It has great potential in areas like the Barossa and Clare, in Bendigo, Heathcote, the Pyrenees and Rutherglen in Victoria, as well as most of the inland regions of New South Wales.

Nero d'Avola is among the ten most important alternative red wine varieties in Australia.

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

prize winning Nero's

At the 2023 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS)  36 Neros were judged. four Gold medals, nine Slivers and fourteen Bronze medals were awarded.  

The Gold medal winners were Berg Herring, Chalk Hill, Gibson and Sepplesfield

  • Alpha Box and Dice McLaren Vale
  • Aphelion McLaren Vale
  • Arila Gardens Barossa Valley
  • Bailey's of Glenrowan Glenrowan
  • Bassham Wines Riverland
  • Beach Road McLaren Vale
  • Bellwether Coonawarra
  • Berg Herring McLaren Vale
  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills
  • Blood Moon Heathcote
  • Bondar Wines McLaren Vale
  • Brash Higgins McLaren Vale
  • Bunyip Hollow North East Victoria
  • By Jingo Adelaide Hills
  • Calabria Family Wines Riverina
  • Camwell Wines McLaren Vale
  • Cappa Stone Murray Darling
  • Chalmers Heathcote
  • Chapel Hill McLaren Vale
  • Chrismont King Valley
  • Colab and Bloom Adelaide Hills
  • Condie Heathcote
  • Coriole McLaren Vale
  • De Fazzio Wines Barossa Valley
  • Delinquente Wine Riverland
  • Dune McLaren Vale
  • Eldorado Road North East Victoria
  • Five Geese Hillgrove Wines McLaren Vale
  • Five O’Clock Somewhere McLaren Vale
  • Fox Creek Wines McLaren Vale
  • Fox Gordon Barossa Valley
  • Georges Folly Currency Creek
  • Gibson Barossa Valley
  • Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt
  • Granite Rose Mornington Peninsula
  • Grosset Clare Valley
  • Hither and Yon McLaren Vale
  • Hugh Hamilton McLaren Vale
  • Hugo Wines McLaren Vale
  • Kay Bros Amery McLaren Vale
  • Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley
  • La Bise Adelaide Hills
  • La Fattoria Perth Hills
  • La Prova Adelaide Hills
  • Lake Breeze Langhorne Creek
  • Lino Ramble McLaren Vale
  • Living Roots Adelaide Hills
  • Maxwell Wines McLaren Vale
  • McCarthy's Orchard McLaren Vale
  • McPherson Wines Nagambie Lakes
  • McWilliams Riverina
  • Mercer Hunter Valley
  • Mitolo McLaren Vale
  • Monterra Wines McLaren Vale
  • Moojelup Farm Geographe
  • Mount Eyre Hunter Valley
  • Mount Horrocks Clare Valley
  • Musk Lane Macedon Ranges
  • New Era Adelaide Hills
  • Nikola Estate Swan Valley
  • Nomads Garden Alpine Valleys
  • Oakway Estate Geographe
  • Orbis McLaren Vale
  • Paul Conti Wines Greater Perth Zone
  • Paulmara Estate Barossa Valley
  • Pertaringa McLaren Vale
  • Pete's Pure Murray Darling
  • Politini King Valley
  • Precious Little Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Pyren Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Quid Pro Quo Hunter Valley
  • Rokkwell Granite Belt
  • Rolf Binder Barossa Valley
  • Rouleur McLaren Vale
  • Sabella Wines McLaren Vale
  • Salena Estate Riverland
  • SAMU Riverland
  • Samuels Gorge McLaren Vale
  • Santolin Yarra Valley
  • SC Pannell McLaren Vale
  • Scarpantoni Estate McLaren Vale
  • Seppeltsfield Barossa Valley
  • Sew and Sew McLaren Vale
  • Sherrah McLaren Vale
  • Signor Vino Riverina
  • Silent Noise Mclaren Vale
  • Smidge Wines Mclaren Vale
  • Spider Bill Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Spinifex Barossa Valley
  • Springton Hills Eden Valley
  • St Ignatius Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Susuro Adelaide Hills
  • Taminick Cellars Glenrowan
  • Taylors Clare Valley
  • Tellurian Heathcote
  • Thick as Theives Yarra Valley
  • Thistledown McLaren Vale
  • Trentham Estate Murray Darling
  • Unico Zelo Adelaide Hills
  • View Road Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Vigna Bottin McLaren Vale
  • Vino Intrepido Heathcote
  • Wines By Farquhar Barossa Valley
  • Witches Falls Winery Queensland Zone
  • Worlds Apart Adelaide Hills
  • Zerella (la Gita) McLaren Vale
  • Zitta Barossa Valley
Last updated 24 May 2024

More Italian red wine varieties used in Australia

Aglianico | Aleatico | Barbera | Brachetto | Canaiolo Nero | Colorino | Corvina | Dolcetto | Friesa | Lagrein | Mammolo | Marzemino | Montepulciano | Nebbiolo | Negroamaro | Nero d'Avola | Nero Di Troia | Primitivo | Refosco | Rondinella | Sagrantino | Sangiovese | Teroldego | Zinfandel
Learn About Italian Wine regions with these physical and digital maps

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,

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