Red grapeThe literal translation for this grape is “Bitter-black”. Not exactly the nicest way to describe a grape. But really you can ignore at least the bitter bit of that description. This grape comes for the southern region of Apulia in Italy. Here the temperature can be scorchingly hot, so the grapes are most definitely going to get ripe; and bitterness is less likely when grapes are fully matured.

The black part is certainly true. These grapes are dark and intensely coloured. The resulting wine is brimming with dark berry fruit and has a complex savoury undertones with spicy medicinal characters. If you like a full bodied red with gusto, this could be one for you.

On the other hand if you are a fan of brightly fruited new world red like Malbec or Syrah; this may not be your thing. These sort of reds from the Southern part of Italy have pruney, raiseny fruit flavours due to the intense heat. And the style of winemaking is a little more old fashioned meaning they allow the grapes a bit more oxidative contact and that brings out all the wild savoury undertones. As a general rule the New World wines are a bit more fruit forward.

The Facts

A hardy and drought resistant grape meaning it is well suited to hot climates.  It also retains acidity well in these conditions. Often blended with other grapes in the Puglia region like Primitivo or Sangiovese; it is a useful partner to add colour and alcohol to other varieties.


Nero D’Avola, Primitivo, Nero di Troia, Carignan, Mourvedre

Classic Regions

Italy: Puglia, Salice Salento

Australia: South Australia


Food Matches

Wild boar, sausages, ravioli, meatballs, tomato bruschetta