Nero d’Avola was introduced to Ricca Terra Farms out of pure frustration during the middle of the ‘millennium drought’ in 2003. Faced with the reality of a limited supply of irrigated water in the future, Ashley needed a variety that could withstand the warm and dry climate of the Riverland region. After extensive in-field trials, he learned that only half the irrigated water was required to grow quality Nero d’Avola grapes compared to other French cultivars. Today, Nero d’Avola is without a doubt Ricca Terra Farm’s flagship grape variety with a number of winemakers either buying or on the waitlist to buy the fruit, in addition to the ‘estate’ bottling of course.
The fruit was hand-harvested and cold soaked overnight to intensify the color and aromatics. Fermentation occurred naturally in open-top fermenters with roughly one-third of the total ferment being whole-cluster. Fermentation lasted 13 days and the wine spent another three days on the skins, post-ferment. The lots were basket-pressed by hand to old 500L French tonneau for aging. After six months the barrels were blended and racked to tank to settle. It was bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur at bottling.