Nero d’Avola (NEH roe Dah VOE lah) is a hearty indigenous grape variety of Sicily and translates as “the black grape of Avola”. In the past few decades, Nero d’Avola [Calabrese] has become the most popular grape grown in Sicily, making wines from 100% of the variety rather than blended, although it can be used in blends to add balance, spice and plum flavours. It is often compared to New World Shirazes, as it is velvety, dark and tarry, with rich fruit flavours and big aromatics of black fruits and violets. It’s easy drinking and usually best young, but can also take a bit of aging. Notes of black currants, spices and pepper are common.