Synonym: Calabrese, Calabrese Nero, Calabrese d’Avola, Calabrese Dolce, Calabrese Pizzutello, Calabrese Pizzuto.
Commonly mistaken for: Sangiovese.
Origin: Its commonest synonym is Calabrese, which suggest its cultivation in the Calabria region (South Italy), but historically there is no proof of its presence in this region, in fact the origins of this variety are uncertain. Nero d’Avola is one of the best red grapevine varieties in Sicily. This variety is cultivated only in Sicily, around the provinces of Trapani, Agrigento and Palermo.
Agronomic and environmental aspects: The production is good and consistent. This variety typically grows in hot climates, prefers sandy and hilly soils and can give good results in dry and low-medium fertile soils. In Italy traditional “bush-vine” training systems are used, also the VSP training systems, such as the double or single cordon with 1 or 2 buds per spur. It needs shoot thinning during the growing season to balance the canopy.
Diseases, pests and disorders: Susceptible to powdery mildew; medium resistant to the others pests.
Growing Tip: half-open, cottony, of whitish green colour.
Leaf: medium size of blade, pentagonal shape, 3-lobed. Has a U or V shaped petiolar sinus, superior side sinuses are U shaped, but not very deep. The profile is undulating, with revolute edges.
Bunch: medium, of pyramidal form, short and stumpy or long, winged, semi-compact.
Berry: Medium dimensions, ovate; thick skin of uniform dark-blue colour, covered by high bloom.
- MAT 1: Selected by Matura Group, Italy. The clone is still in an experimental stage.
Nero d’Avola can be used to make a wide range of styles: base wine for blending, rosé wine and full-bodied wine; the last one is generally the best wine style for this variety, characterized by a very intense cherry red colour, with a intense bouquet of spices, hazelnut, raspberry, with good tannins and well-balanced; it develops very well with barrel ageing. The wine is also dry, alcoholic, with a good body and acidity. In Italy it is used to blend or can be bottled as a stand-alone varietal in few DOC: Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Contea di Sciafani, Contessa Entellina, Della Nivolelli, Eloro, Faro, Marsala, Riesi, Sambuca di Sicilia, Santa Margherita di Belice, Sciacca.