Negroamaro, also Negro Amaro, is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy. The grape can indeed produce wines very deep in color.

Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. The grape produces some of the best red wines of Puglia, particularly when blended with the highly scented Malvasia Nera, as in the case of Salice Salentino.


Red grape variety of uncertain origin, perhaps introduced by the Greeks in the Ionian Sea. Its name derives from the dialect  "niuru maru" for the black colour and the bitter taste of the wine made ​​from it. It 's very popular in Puglia, in particular in the provinces of Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto.  It 's the sixth black grape grown in Italy, with about 32,000 ha.

Although amaro is the Italian for ‘bitter’, the name is also thought to derive from two words meaning ‘black’, in the Latin language ‘negro’, and the ancient Greek ‘maru’.

'Maru' shares a root with "merum", a wine brought to Puglia by Illyrian colonialists before the Greeks arrived in the 7th century BC. Horace and other Roman writers mention "mera tarantina" from Taranto, and Pliny the Elder describes Manduria as 'viticulosa' (full of vineyards). But after the fall of the Roman Empire winemaking declined until it was only kept alive in the monasteries - Benedictine on Murgia and Greek Orthodox in Salento.

Negroamaro could be the grape used in merum, or it could have been brought by traders from the home of winemaking in Asia Minor at any point in the last 8000 years.

Negroamaro precoce has recently been identified as a distinct clone.

Recent analysis suggests that it is loosely related to Verdicchio (Verdeca) and Sangiovese.

Wine regions

List of permitted DOC wines

85%–100% Negroamaro:

in the province of Lecce

  • Leverano Nergroamaro Rosato
  • Leverano Nergroamaro Rosso

in the province of Taranto

  • Lizzano Negroamaro Rosato
  • Lizzano Negroamaro Rosso
  • Lizzano Negroamaro Rosso Superiore

85%–100% Negroamaro:

in the province of Lecce

  • Alezio Riserva
  • Alezio Rosato
  • Alezio Rosso
  • Nardo' Rosato
  • Nardo' Rosso
  • Nardo' Rosso Riserva

in the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce

  • Salice Salentino
  • Salice Salentino Rosato
  • Salice Salentino Rosso
  • Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva

70%–100% Negroamaro:

in the province of Brindisi

  • Brindisi Rosato
  • Brindisi Rosso
  • Brindisi Rosso Riserva

in the province of Lecce

  • Copertino Rosato
  • Copertino Rosso
  • Copertino Rosso Riserva
  • Matino Rosato
  • Matino Rosso

in the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce

  • Squinzano Rosato
  • Squinzano Rosso
  • Squinzano Rosso Riserva

65%–100% Negroamaro:

in the province of Lecce

  •  Galatina Rosso

60%–80% Negroamaro:

in the province of Taranto

  • LizzanoLizzano Rosato
  • Lizzano Rosato Frizzante
  • Lizzano Rosato Giovane
  • Lizzano Rosato Spumante
  • Lizzano Rosso
  • Lizzano Rosso Frizzante
  • Lizzano Rosso Giovane

50%–100% Negroamaro:

in the province of Lecce

  • Leverano Novello
  • Leverano Rosato
  • Leverano Rosso
  • Leverano Rosso Riserva

15%–30% Negroamaro:

in the province of Foggia

  • Rosso di Cerignola
  • Rosso di Cerignola Riserva

List of permitted IGT wines

85%–100% Negroamaro:

  • Puglia Negroamaro
  • Puglia Negroamaro frizzante
  • Puglia Negroamaro novello
  • Valle d’Itria Negroamaro
  • Valle d’Itria Negroamaro frizzante
  • Valle d’Itria Negroamaro novello
  • Salento Negroamaro
  • Salento Negroamaro frizzante
  • Salento Negroamaro novello
  • Daunia Negroamaro
  • Daunia Negroamaro frizzante


70%–100% Negroamaro:

  • Salento Rosato Negroamaro
  • Salento Rosato Negroamaro frizzante

70%–80% Negroamaro:

  • Tarantino Negroamaro
  • Tarantino Negroamaro frizzante


Viticulture and winemaking

The grapes are used exclusively for wine-making. Although 100% varietal wines are produced, Negroamaro is more commonly used as the dominant component of a blend including such varieties as Malvasia Nera, Sangiovese or Montepulciano. These wines are red, or sometimes rosato, and are usually still; though both red and rosato versions may be frizzante.

The vine is vigorous and high-yielding with a preference for calcareous and limey soils but adapting readily to others. It is well suited to Puglia’s hot summers and exhibits good drought-resistance. The grapes, carried in bunches of around 300–350 g, are oval in form, medium-large in size with thick skins, and black-violet in colour. They ripen mid-season (late September–early October).

Environmental and agricultural characteristics and needs

The leaves are large, pentagonal, five or three-lobed; cluster is medium sized, conical, short and tight, rarely with a wing; berry is medium to large, with waxy thick black-purple skin. It has abundant and steady production, it prefers limestone-clay soils, but adapts well to other types of terrain and hot, arid climate.

Diseases and adversity

Rather sensitive to botrytis, easily attacked by moths, is fairly resistant to frost. Not too sensitive to powdery mildew and downy mildew .