Synonym: Negroamaro, Nicra Amaro, Abruzzese, Uva Cane, Arbese, Albere, Nero Lecce, Jonico, Mangiaverde, Niuru Maru.
Commonly mistaken for: Purcinara, Uva Olivella.
Origin: It was probably introduced in southern Italy from Greece, along the coast of the Ionian Sea. Now it is mostly cultivated in the provinces of Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto, in the Puglia region. Its name "Negro Amaro" derives from the dialect expression "niuru manu", which describes the colour of the berry: niuru (black) and the wine's taste: manu (bitter).
Agronomic and environmental aspects: High and consistent yield. It has a preference for sunny places and warm climates. This variety prefers less fertile soils and low-vigour sites, with a good percentage of clay and rich in calcium carbonate. It is suitable for a range of training systems, depending on the availability of water. It is suitable for spur pruning and cane pruning, from wide traditional systems (like Tendone) to bush vines (like alberello). Mechanical harvesting can be slightly difficult because the berries are not easily detached from the pedicel.
Diseases, pests and disorders: It has good resistance to downy and powdery mildew, susceptible to botrytis and to light brown apple moth. Not particularly sensitive to the frosts.
Growing Tip: fully open, cottony, of whitish or yellowish green colour, with pink reflexes.
Leaf: large, pentagonal, 5-lobed or 3-lobed. Has a semi-close V-shaped petiolar sinus, lateral superior sinuses V-shaped with lobes overlapped, while inferior can be a close lyre or U-V shaped. The profile is V-shaped or involute, blistered, with involute lobes.
Bunch: medium, short, of conical form, rarely winged, compact, with a short peduncle.
Berry: medium-large dimensions, obovate; thick and strong skin, of purplish-black colour, covered a lot of bloom, difficult detachment from pedicel.
The wine has a deep garnet-red colour, fruity perfume, with a good body, well-rounded and slightly bitter. It is considered a very good wine for blending, thanks to its acidity and varietal flavours. When vinified together with Malvasia Nera, a very good, fine and lively wine is produced which has a delicate fragrance and good fruity characteristics; also alone it is very interesting. The wine made from the grapes of this variety is usually blended with others varieties for important DOC of the Puglia region: Alesio, Brindisi, Copertino, Galatina, Gioia del Colle, Leverano, Lizzano, Salice Salentino, Squinzano, Matino, Narḍ, Rosso di Cerignola.