Nero d Avola (also known as Calabrese) is the most important and widely planted red wine grape variety in Sicily. Vast volumes of Nero d Avola are produced on the island every year, and have been for centuries. The dark-skinned grape is of great historical importance to Sicily and takes its present-day name from the town of Avola on the islands southeast coast.
The area was a hotbed of trade and population movement during the Middle Ages and Nero d Avola was frequently used to add color and body to lesser wines in mainland Italy.
Translated, Nero d Avola means Black of Avola, a reference to the grapes distinctive dark coloring, but its exact origins are the subject of debate.
The region of Calabria can lay claim to the variety via its synonym Calabrese (meaning of Calabria), though this term may be a derivation of Calaurisi, an ancient name for someone from Avola.