The Nero d'Avola Grape Variety | What Does Nero d'Avola Taste Like? | Nero d'Avola Sicilia / Sicily, Italy
Nero d’Avola is the most noteworthy grape found within Sicily, Italy.

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.

Nero d'Avola thrives in hot, dry climates.

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.

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Jared Gelband
Wine and Beverage Director at Italian Village Restaurants
An expert in all things wine and cocktails, Jared Gelband is the Wine and Beverage Director for Italian Village Restaurants, overseeing the award-winning wine cellar with over 20,000 bottles. Working as a server at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Jared quickly discovered his passion for wine and went on pursue his Level 1 Certification with the Court Of Master Sommeliers. He spent nearly two years as a Sommelier at Eno Wine Bar before joining Italian Village Restaurants in 2016.

In addition to handling wine purchases for all three restaurants, creating crafting new cocktails, and teaching weekly wine classes for employees, Jared also focuses on developing specials and programs including a newly launched Coravin program, summer Rosé program, and more. At Italian Village, his philosophy revolves around variety, integrity and staying ahead of current trends across the U.S. and Italy. When he’s not drinking or working with wine, Jared enjoys snowboarding, golfing, traveling and exploring Chicago’s culinary scene – all while studying for his Level 2 Certification.

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