Italian Indigenous Varieties: Nocera from Sicily

Today’s Italian indigenous grape variety is Nocera which hails from Sicily. The flag above is called the Trinacria and is the Sicilian flag. The three legs symbolize the space of the Sicilian island and the red and yellow sections, Palermo and Corleone, respectively. Those two cities were crucial in the fight against foreign rule – in this instance the Angevin or French rulers. Trinacria also was the ancient name for Sicily.

Nocera grows around the province of Messina. Usually blended but occasionally vinified on its own, it is part of the Faro DOC and Mamertino di Milazzo in Sicily and Bivongi in Calabria.

Planeta makes one that is 100% Nocera. Here is a description of that wine. They call it a marine red wine and I know exactly what they mean. It has minerality, some sapidity and pairs well both with grilled meats and some meaty fish. It also has notes of garrigue or the “macchia mediterranea.”

I haven’t visited the winery but Jameson Fink has and here is one of his posts on the winery and Nocera.

Nocera is often blended with other famed Sicilian red grapes – Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio and sometimes with Nero d’Avola.

Palari, a very well known winery in Sicily makes a Faro DOC that includes Nocera. Banfi brings in Palari so it should be relatively easy to find in your local wineshop. A few years ago this wine was all the rage and won top awards from Gambero Rosso if memory serves. I had some last year at Vinitaly. Beautiful wines. As the days grow shorter and winter sets in, a trip to Sicily seems ever more appealing.



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