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Black grape variety grown in Apulia

Negro Amaro n.

The Negro Amaro n. is a prestigious wine grape variety characteristic of Apulia, where it is listed among the varieties suitable for cultivation in all the region. 

Origin and Historical Outline

The vine Negro Amaro n. has an unknown origin. It has been widespread for a long time in Apulia in the Ionian area. The name comes, according to some, from the dialectal term niuru Maru, to identify the bitter taste of the wine. It is however believed to be able to say that the name of the vine most likely comes from two words indicating both the black color, the Latin NIGRA and the Greek MAVRO, used in combination to emphasize the intense black color, dark, both of the skin of the grape and that of the wine obtained. The synonym Nigramaro supports this hypothesis. Its diffusion could date back to the time of the Greek colonization, in the VIII-VII century B.C.


Arbese, Jonico, Mangiaverde, Negramaro, Negroamaro, Nero leccese, Nigra amaro, Nigramaro, Nieru amaru, Niuru maru. 

Shoot tip: expanded, very fluffy, white-yellowish with wine-pink shades.

Leaf: medium-large, pentagonal, pentalobate. Open U-shaped petiole sinus; U-shaped upper lateral sinuses with overlapping lobes; U or Vshaped, or also in combination U and V-shaped, not very pronounced lower lateral sinuses.

Bunch: medium, truncated cone-shaped, plain, short, dense.

Berry: medium, obovoid. Pruinose, thick and compact, black-purplish skin; juicy sweet flesh with a neutral taste.

Time of bud burst: intermediate

Flowering time: intermediate

Veraison: intermediate-late

Ripening: late

Vigour: excellent

Average bunch weight measured: 310 g (min 200 g – max 420 g)

Average berry weight: 1.9 g (min 1.6 g – max 2.5 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 1 3

Average rachis weight: 20 g

Fertility of buds: 2 – 3

Potential fertility: 1.7

Actual fertility: 1.4

Abundant and consistent production. Prefers calcareous-clayey soil; suited for warm and dry climate. Depending on the availability of water and the kind of wine to be produced, it can be trained following different systems (gobelet, counter espalier, tendone) with both long and short pruning.

Alcoholic content: 11 – 14 % by vol.

pH: 3.15 – 3.45

Total acidity: 5 – 9 g/l

Used exclusively for vinification as a single variety and in blends with other grape varieties.

The wine is characterized by its intense garnet-red colour; round, bitterish, dry taste. Vinified with black Malvasia it gives an excellent rosé wine.

The vine is present in Apulia in a significant way, particularly characterizing the Salento area, also as a historical presence. It is registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation throughout the region. It is the most widespread variety in the provinces of Lecce and Brindisi and plays a major role in the production of most of the red and rosé PDO wines of these two provinces. Throughout Apulia it is frequently used for the production of QWpsr wine.

Antonacci Donato

The data sheet of the Negro Amaro n., revised and updated, is extracted from: Antonacci Donato (2006). Viti di Puglia, Adda publisher. Its use is granted by the author citing the source.