Nero d'Avola Grape Variety

Nero d'Avola ("Black of Avola" in Italian) is "the most important red wine grape in Sicily"[1] and is one of Italy's most important indigenous varieties. It is named after Avola in the far south of Sicily and its wines are compared to New World Shirazes, with sweet tannins and plum or peppery flavours. It also contributes to Marsala blends. Also known as Calabrese, Nero d’Avola has become the most popular grape grown in Sicily, making wines from 100% of the variety rather than blended.

Wine description dark in color, big in fruit flavors, well-suited for oak and able to age for several years, although most are good drinking upon release.
Food pairing Meatballs, roasted lamb, pasta with tomato base sauces
Origin Sicily
Notable regions Sicily
Notable wines
Planeta Santa Cecilia IGT Nero d’Avola


Sicily has been an important wine region for thousands of years. Sicily was a cultural cross-roads throughout most of European history, and has been controlled by the Greeks, the Romans the Byzantines, the Arabs, and the Catalans from Spain. Sicily is now Italy’s largest wine producing region. 

"The Black Grape of Avola" appears to have been selected by growers near Avola (a small town in south east Sicily) several hundred years ago. Initially, it was confined to the southern tip of the island but more recently has spread throughout the island.


The vine likes hot arid climates. The districts around Noto (above all Buonivini, Bufalefi and Maccari) and Pachino in the south of the province of Siracusa are reputed for the quality of their Nero d'Avola grapes.[3]


  1. Sicily Grape Varieties
  2. Robinson, Jancis Vines, Grapes & Wines Mitchell Beazley 1986 
  3. Oxford Companion to Wine"Nero d'Avola"
  4. Maul, E.; Eibach, R. (1999-06-00). Vitis International Variety Catalogue. Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), Deichmanns Aue 29, 53179 Bonn, Germany.



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