Nero D'Avola [Neh-roh Dah-voh-lah]: the ‘mouthfeel’ of this delicious word feels almost as good as the wine tastes. But then most things Italian both sound and taste fabulous.
These days the focus in the Cape Winelands is shifting towards Mediterranean, particularly Italian, varietals due to climate change desiccating our landscape and therefore demanding varietals that thrive in hotter temperatures, and with less water.
However, the Bosman’s relationship with Italy and Italian varietals began quite a while ago. Running a large vine cutting nursery requires sophisticated machinery and equipment so the Bosman nursery, known as Lelienfontein Vine Growers, has been importing machinery for decades from the Fornasier family in Italy. In fact, the family came out to visit the Bosmans in 1992 and the Bosman family returned the visit in 1995. This connection inspired Petrus Bosman to take extra Italian classes while at school, which really came in handy when he visited the country later on.
The reason for his visits, however, was inspired by Professor Kobus JJ Hunter of the Agricultural Research Council who suggested way back in 2003 that South African wine growers should look to Italy, particularly Sicily, for grape varietals suitable for our changing climate.
So Petrus made two trips to the (in) famous island where he found the Nero d’Avola grapes thriving and producing excellent quality wines. He brought back some cuttings and started them on the laborious process of quarantine, propagation and planting. Eventually 10 years later, Petrus and his family helped harvest the first grapes from the first Nero vineyard in South Africa and this year we are proud to release the 2nd vintage of this rather spectacular wine, the only South African Nero d’Avola currently.
Winemaker Corlea Fourie’s notes: “The grapes for the Bosman Family Vineyards Nero d’Avola 2015 were picked ripe and kept on the skins for 2 weeks post fermentation. The wine spent a year in a combination of 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels resulting in an elegant, medium-bodied wine with fresh berry flavours and a hint of pepper. It can be served slightly chilled in summer with a midday meal, or enjoyed with hearty Italian fare such as pizza, pasta or grilled meat”
A Tyvola! Get your pronunciation right: here; but it’s cool just to say Nero for short.
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