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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 well in regions where there is rain at harvest time.

prize winning Nero's

At the 2019 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS)  30 Neros were judged. two Gold medals,  five Slivers and eleven Bronze medals were awarded.  

The Gold medal winners were Coriole 2109 Nero from McLaren Vale and and Dalfarras 2018 Nero d'Avola.

  • Alpha Box and Dice McLaren Vale
  • Bailey's of Glenrowan Glenrowan
  • Bassham Riverland
  • Beach Road McLaren Vale
  • Bellwether Coonawarra
  • Berg Herring McLaren Vale
  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills
  • Blaxland Wine Group Barossa Valley
  • Blood Moon Heathcote
  • Brash Higgins McLaren Vale
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Bunyip Hollow North East Victoria
  • By Jingo Adelaide Hills
  • Calabria Family Wines Riverina
  • Chalmers Heathcote
  • Chapel Hill McLaren Vale
  • Chrismont King Valley
  • Collins and Co Wines Barossa Valley
  • Coriole McLaren Vale
  • Delinquente Wine Riverland
  • Dell'uva Wines  Barossa Valley
  • 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
  • Garganega, Prosecco, Nero d'Avola, Sangiovese Hunter Valley
  • Georges Folly Currency Creek
  • Gibson Barossa Valley
  • Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt
  • Hither and Yon McLaren Vale
  • Hugh Hamilton McLaren Vale
  • Kay Bros Amery McLaren Vale
  • Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley
  • La Bise Adelaide Hills
  • La Fattoria Perth Hills
  • La Prova Adelaide Hills
  • Lino Ramble McLaren Vale
  • Matriarch and Rogue Clare Valley
  • McCarthy's Orchard McLaren Vale
  • McPherson Wines Nagambie Lakes
  • McWilliams Riverina
  • Mitolo McLaren Vale
  • Monterra Wines McLaren Vale
  • Moonrise Estate Granite Belt
  • Mount Eyre Hunter Valley
  • Mount Horrocks Clare Valley
  • Musk Lane Macedon Ranges
  • Nomads Garden Alpine Valleys
  • Parish Hill Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Paul Conti Wines Greater Perth Zone
  • Paulmara Estate Barossa Valley
  • Pertaringa McLaren Vale
  • Politini King Valley
  • Precious Little Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Pyren Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Ricca Terra Riverland
  • 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
  • Seppletsfield Barossa Valley
  • Sherrah McLaren Vale
  • Silent Noise Mclaren Vale
  • Smidge Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Spider Bill Wines Adelaide hills
  • Springton Hills Eden Valley
  • St Ignatius Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Susuro Adelaide Hills
  • Taminick Cellars Glenrowan
  • Taylors Clare Valley
  • Tellurian Heathcote
  • Thick as Thieves Yarra Valley
  • Trentham Estate Murray Darling
  • Unico Zelo Adelaide Hills
  • Vigna Bottin McLaren Vale
  • Zerella (la Gita) McLaren Vale
Last updated 25 October 2020

More Italian red wine varieties used in Australia

Aglianico | Aleatico | Barbera | 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
One of the best books about Italian wine grape varieties is Ian d'Agata's Native Wine Grapes of Italy

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

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