What is Nero d’Avola Wine?

Italy is widely known as a lovely country. It also has a lot of beautiful places and tourist spots all around it. It is also where all kinds of fancy things and many specially-made food and beverages come. Well, the wine industry here is no exception.

Nero d’Avola is one of the most delicious and sought wines in the world, and that is no surprise to us because it is made from the island of Sicily in Italy! Here is a blog where you can learn more about “What is Nero d’Avola Wine?”

Let’s all dive deeper and explore the beauty and the history of Nero d’Avola wine!

What is Nero d’Avola Wine?

Nero d’Avola is translated as Black of Avola. This name comes from the grape’s black skin, but this wine’s natural origin is still debatable.

It has a fruity, robust, and full-bodied wine similar to black cherry, plum, licorice, and prune. The Nero d’Avola, also known as Calabrese, has a cherry and herbal aroma that goes well with its fruitful taste.

It is mainly produced and planted in Sicily, Italy. It is known as the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. For years, they had a large amount of this wine, which has been their tradition since ancient times.


They use this wine to blend with lesser drinks, and Nero d’Avola rarely comes to the labels. But after the appearance of the 21st century, the grapes market has been filled with fortune, and the Nero d’Avola wine is made.

Nero d’Avola and Syrah are often compared because they have similar growing systems and characteristics. In the present, Nero d’Avola wine has achieved some more well-developed versions all around the world.

The makers of this wine have been experimenting with it for quite some time now, and Nero d’Avola is more accessible in the market than ever before. Many vineyards around California and Australia have the perfect climate to produce this wine.

The plants are growing better with the help of the dry and hot environment around them. Some winemakers also make a Rosé wine version of this, but this product is scarce.

Below is a chart to know the characteristics of Nero d’Avola Wine.

Characteristics Description
Fruit Bold and very fruity flavors
Body Full-bodied
Tannin High but not as high as Barolo and Petite Sirah
Acidity Moderately high acidity level. The acidity of lemon with the creaminess of yogurt.
Alcohol Range from 13.5% to 14.5% ABV

Then there are the wine’s primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas.

Primary Aromas Secondary Aromas Tertiary Aromas
Tree Fruit Yeast Oak Aging
Red Fruit Bacteria/Other Aged Aromas
Tropical Fruit
Floral and Herbal
Black Fruit
Dried Fruit
Citrus Fruit

What is the origin of Nero d’Avola Wine?


Nero d’Avola vines have been here in Italy for more than 50 years. After that, they moved to the USA and Australia. Italy, since the 15th century, has been their main harvest.

The exact birthplace is still unknown, but some believe that the vines were planted first in the town of Avola. Francesco Cupani was a Botanist from 1696. He referred to them as Calabrese.

Because of this, the origin is likely from the Calabria location. This wine was also used for coloring the body of the wine and making it more substantial in the twentieth century.

Winemakers Donnafugata, Planeta, and Cusumano changed the way from 1980 to the 1990s. They started using grapes to make the best wines possible.

Sicily is considered the home of the Nero d’Avola wine because almost 98% vineyards of Nero d’Avola are from there. There are also great vineyards like Noto, Pachino, Eloro, Syracuse, and Avola.

In the USA, Nero d’Avola is sold as a dry wine. a lot of vineyards there are located in California. They first imported these vines in 1988 straight to Australia.

The climate there is perfect for this wine. The Nero d’ Avola wine usually has a medium acid, a strong body, and a high tannin. But if grown at higher grounds where the temperature is much lower, it will be smooth and reduce alcohol levels.

What does Nero d’ Avola wine taste like?


When you taste the Nero d’ Avola wine for the first time, a lot goes on inside your mouth. It is well known for its rich and fruity taste because of the prune and black cherry.

It is a full-bodied wine and has similarities to Syrah, Pinotage, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannin, on the other hand, is much higher.

This can be compared to Petite Sirah. The alcohol level of Nero d’Avola amounts from 13.5% to 14.5%. It is a medium level, but this wine is very bold.

The Acidity of this wine ranges from the hint of lemon to the creaminess of yogurt. The Nero d’Avola doesn’t have a spicy taste to it. The variety of grapes used in the wine helps form its primary taste.

In contrast, the winemaking and fermentation process helps, and the aging from the oak barrels completes its characteristics overall. For a much better experience, I suggest you chill this wine first in the freezer, even though most red wines are usually served at room temperature because this provides the flavors needed for the wine.

How do you make Nero d’Avola wine?


There are a lot of different methods of production when it comes to making Nero d’Avola wine. By aging it inside, you can make this dense and dark it is required to be stored in oak barrels to make the flavors better.

The younger wines are plum and juicy, and they have added fruit flavors. You can also get dark chocolate and raspberry, which is more complex.

Nero d’Avola wine has a strong body, many tannins, and a medium acid. But despite that, it still has a very smooth taste if it’s grown at higher grounds where there is low temperature because it can lower the alcohol density of the wine.

It is also made in Australia and California, but it is usually grown in the eastern region of Sicily. Because of the beautiful color of the wine, they also used it to make rosé wine.

The grapes used in this wine can adapt to different types of soil and microclimates. Because of that, wine companies can explore various viticulture and vinification types that give the wine its unique and delicious taste.


  1. The vines of Nero d’Avola are first harvested. It is usually around September.
  2. After gathering it, they are crushed and soaked with the skin for about eight to twenty-one days.
  3.  After this comes the fermentation process. It is done in steel vats and concrete tanks with controlled temperatures. It is done to increase the flavors of the wine.
  4. After doing all that, you must now age the wine inside French oak barrels for about eight to eighteen months.
  5. After this, the wine is bottled and left to mature again for a couple of months before it gets ready for serving.

What Nero d’Avola Wine should I buy?

  1. If you want to try out Nero d’Avola wine, I suggest you try the Donnafugata ‘Mille e Una Notte’ Contessa Entellina, Sicily, Italy. It is made in Contessa Entellina and has a critics score of 91/100.
  2. You can also try the Mazzei Zisola Noto Rosso, Sicily, Italy. It is made in the region of Noto, and it has a critics score of 89/100.
  3. The third most popular Nero d’Avola wine here is Feudo Maccari Saia Sicilia IGT, Sicily, Italy. It is made in the city of Sicily, and it has a critics score of 90/100.
  4. If you have a lot of money to spare and want to try out Nero d’Avola wine, I suggest you go for the Tasca d’Almerita Sicily, Italy. It is made in Contea di Sclafani. It has a critics score of 94/100, but it is not very popular because of its high price.
  5. Next, try Donnafugata ‘Mille e Una Notte’ Contessa Entellina, Sicily, Italy. It is made in Contessa Entellina and has a critics score of 91/100.
  6. You can try the Arianna Occhipinti Passo Nero, Sicily, Italy, made in Sicily. It also has a critics score of 91/100.
  7. Now, if you are on a tight budget but want to try out these delicious wines, I suggest going for the Cantine Paolini Conte di Matarocco which is made in Italy.

What food pairs great with Nero d’Avola Wine?


Nero d’Avola wines can be paired with main meats like barbecue, pork chops, veal, meatloaf, steaks, and burgers. The fats, oil, and richness of the meat will go well with the bold and acidic flavor of the wine.

A full meal can balance it too, but if you do not like red meats, chicken can do it for you too. Different types of cheese can also go well with Nero d’Avola wines, like sheep’s milk, and other types of cheese, like Cheddar, Gruyere, Fontina, and Muenster.

Many spices can pair well with Nero d’Avola that you can consider. This includes bay leaf, cocoa powder, coffee, Asian plum sauce, anise, and orange rind. You can also mix your black lentils and shiitakes to make a vegan option.


Remember to always share it with your loved ones, like your friends and family, because it is more fun, delicious, and enjoyable that way. As always, Italy never disappoints us when it comes to great cultures and traditions and, most importantly, great food and beverages!

We hope we helped you with this blog regarding “What is Nero d’Avola Wine?” If you want to know more about wines, stay tuned for our next blog!

Nero d'Avola Wine guide

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