Exploring the Wine Glass

Winephabet Street; N is for Negroamaro

August 13, 2018

photo courtesy of: italianculturalcentre.ca

Negroamaro is a dark-skinned grape best known in the Puglia region in southern Italy. This is the most important and exclusive vine of Puglia! covering roughly 12,000 hectares (29,652 acres) of land throughout the region, but it is especially widespread on the Salento Peninsula.  

The origins of the name “Negroamaro” are not precisely known. There are several different theories about the origins of the name: some believe that «negro» (black) is a clear reference to  its very dark colour, a peculiarity which has been particularly appreciated since the times of the Benedictine monks; «amaro» (bitter) could refer to its strong tannins, or to the fact that in the past the wine was  left to ferment with the grape-skins for a long time, so that by the end of fermentation it was dark and very bitter. The most probable explanation is that the name Negroamaro derives from the fusion of the Greek word mavros and the Latin word niger, both meaning “black” and referring to the colour of the grapes, so that  Negroamaro actually means black-black.

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