The negroamaro is a black grape variety from Greece that owes its name to the dark colour of its berries and their intense, slightly bitter flavour. The negroamaro vine variety is cultivated in Italy mainly in Apulia, particularly in the Salento region, where it finds ideal climatic conditions for the production of sparkling rosé wines, rosé wines and especially extraordinary red wines. Lhis ability to thrive in the hot, dry climate of Salento, where long, sunny summers allow the grapes to ripen optimally, means that wines are produced here that age well in the bottle where they develop complexity and smoothness with the passage of time.

Synonyms and clones

  • Synonyms: (official) negro amaro, black bitter. Unofficial: arbese or albese, tonic, nero leccese, niuru mani, nicra amaro, mangiaverde, abruzzese, uva cane, lacrima.

Negroamaro: characteristics

... of the plant

  • Appearanceleaf large, pentagonalmostly five-lobed, with narrow V-shaped petiolar sinus and upper lateral sinuses with overlapping edges and shallow U-shaped or lyre-shaped lower lateral sinuses. The upper page is glabrous and green in colour. The underside is arachnoid and dull light green. Petiole medium-large, short and glabrous.
  • Maturation: 3rd ten days of September - 1st ten days of October. Bunch medium, conical, short and tight. Grape medium and tending to large. Peel pruinose, thick and consistent blue-violet colour. Pulp juicy, sweet and neutral-tasting with coloured juice.
  • Productivityabundant and constant.
  • Vigour: excellent.
  • Resistance to adversity: good to powdery mildew, downy mildew and frost; sensitive to moth and grey mould with some graft carriers.
Negroamaro vine leaf

... of wine produced

Negroamaro is a grape variety particularly suited to long bottle ageing.

  • Visual examination: salmon pink with coral highlights or concentrated, barely transparent ruby red depending on the type of wine produced.
  • Olfactory examination: intense, elegant, fine, complex. Recognitions include porcini mushroom, toast, tobacco leaf, smoked, cocoa, violet, cherry, blood orange and black pepper.
  • Taste-olfactory examination: fresh, soft with time, structured, with a great acid shoulder, powerful, vertical and if red it has a well-presented tannin.

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Negroamaro: areas of cultivation

  • Italy: (suitable and recommended areas) Apulia; (areas under observation) Basilicata, Molise.
  • World: none.

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Negroamaro: Italian DOCG and DOC wines where it is allowed

  • DOCG: none.
  • DOC: Alezio, Brindisi, Copertino, Galatina, Gioia del Colle, Leverano, Lizzano, Matino, Nardò, Negroamaro di Terra d'Otranto, Rosso di Cerignola, Salice Salentino, Squinzano, Terra d'Otranto.
Bunch of Negroamaro grapes


Particularly interesting is the Salice Salentino PDOespecially in its Rosso Riserva expression. If left to age for a long time in the bottle - the 2015-2016 wines in 2023 are barely ready - it develops highly desirable characteristics for a sommelier.


© Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies, National Catalogue of Vine Varieties.

© Cover image: Masseria Mongiò

Other black grape varieties to be studied: