|Parentage of the grape: indigenous to Puglia, Italy
History of the grape: The name is a combination of the Italian words for “black” and “bitter,” however, the latter description is more of a description of its uniquely concentrated spicebox characteristics. It’s a grape that’s been enjoyed in some form since at least the 6th century in Puglia, Italy. It’s been an enduring varietal in the region since it’s easy to grow in abundance and resistant to diseases and low rainfall. The wines from Salento are considered the best examples of wines made from Negroamaro. It plays a key structural role in Salice Salentino, a popular red blend it shares with Malvasia Nera, Montepulciano and Sangiovese. Characteristics of the grape: deep, dark, medium tannins, soft, round, blackberries, black currants, clove, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper. Regions where the grape is currently important: Puglia: Salento, Lecce, Taranto, Brindisi. California producers are also now experimenting with the varietal.