Making Nero d'Avola - The "Badger"

Our Nero d'Avola aka "The Badger" is a very special wine to us made from rare Nero plantings in California. A fan favorite, "The Badger" quickly became a mascot for the winery. We source the fruit from Fox Hill Vineyard, which has become incredibly important to us over the years. 

We are lucky to have found Fox Hill Vineyard – where 20+ year old Nero vines are planted and thriving. The vineyard is in Mendocino County, located near Ukiah, and farmed organically. 

The juice for this year’s Nero comes from fruit that was 80% aged on the skins in amphora and 20% fermented on skins, then pressed into neutral French oak barrels. 

The grapes in amphora are left on the skins from when they are harvested in the fall until January, then basket-pressed back into the amphora to develop for another 6 months. The juice in barrel is left to age for 10 months.

Originally, we chose to put a playful badger on the label as a way to give this wine some extra attention. It plays on the Scottish Gaelic translation of Broc, which means 'badger'. When we first brought in the Nero from Fox Hill, the original owner (Lowell Stone) was thrilled with our label and mentioned his love for  animals and critters. 

With tasting notes of fresh tobacco, dark cherry, and sage, the Nero d'Avola is truly an essential red for the fall, and pairs beautifully with grilled foods and holiday meals.