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Home > Variety > Nerello Cappuccio

Nerello Cappuccio is a dark-skinned grape variety from Sicily, most famous for its application in the red wines of Etna and Faro. It is rarely found as a varietal wine, and usually plays second fiddle to its cousin Nerello Mascalese, which is more numerous in plantings and considered to be of a higher quality. On its own, Nerello Cappuccio makes a wine that is soft and richly colored, with some cherry flavors on the palate.

The variety thrives in the volcanic soils of Mount Etna, particularly at higher altitudes. Here, the combination of soil and climate result in elegance and structure in the wines. It ripens slightly earlier than Nerello Mascalese, and buds reasonably early; spring frost can sometimes be an issue. However, Nerello Cappuccio is capable of reaching higher-than-average acidity and has plenty of tannin, making it a good choice for vinification.

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The Nerello Cappuccio variety has medium-sized, pyramidial bunches that are compact and short with medium-large, round and dark blue berries.
It has an early bud break and flowering that expose it to the vagaries of weather, and spring frosts and coulure can be problems. Other than that, the variety is easy to grow and not particularly demanding, with good vigor and production levels, usually ripening a couple of weeks before Nerello Mascalese.
Nerello Cappuccio Grapes

A monovarietal Nerello Cappuccio is medium-dark red in hue and offers aromas and soft flavors reminiscent of ripe red cherry, vanilla, minerals and light coffee; its not particularly floral, just like wines made with Nerello Mascalese, but is certainly more floral than its stablemate. Nerello Cappuccio wines usually have tougher tannins too and a slightly coarser quality to them.