What is the Nero d’Avola Grape Variety? Within What Region is it Grown and What Wine Styles Can it Produce?
Nero D’Avola is thick-skinned red grape, thriving in hotter and drier climates. For this reason, Sicily is the perfect place for this grape to grow. It’s known for it’s full body, jammy fruit, and sweet tannins. It is a dry wine with lower acidity. Often times, it is compared to Shiraz because of its fruity style. The name Nero D’ Avola comes from the town where it was first cultivated, Avola. It translates to “the black grape of Avola” and is Sicily’s most important red grape.
Nero D’Avola is most well known for it’s production in Southeastern Sicily but it can be found many other areas in Sicily as well. There is more recently some Nero being grown in Mendocino County in California and you can find some in Southern Australia. Its styles can vary depending on elevation, vintage and aging.
Some producers are making wines in the jammier and riper styles, and others in a leaner style giving it more red fruit characteristics. The grapes grown at these higher elevations will produce wines of better balance and higher acidity, and more age-worthy as well.
Of course, one more factor that can add different character to the wine is its oak treatment. The longer aged wines with oak are going to produce more of a chocolate and coffee character to the wine with a creamy textural component as well.