Nocera is de naam van een oeroude druif die het gaat ‘maken’ op Sicilië. De druif stamt uit de toenmalige Romeinse wijnregio Marmertinum. Wijnbedrijf Planeta werkt er al mee in blends, maar gaat de druif nu op ruimer schaal aanplanten en gebruiken. In de Provence en in de Beaujolais kwam de Nocera rond 1800 al voor, maar onder andere benamingen.Het ras geeft fruitige rode wijnen, met een hoge aciditeit. Sicilië kende tot nog toe een kleine Nocera-productie die ook bij enkele andere wijnhuizen werd gebotteld. Daar komt door de nieuwe aanpak van tophuis Planeta nu verandering in.
Omstreeks 1800 kwam het ras voor in de Provence en de Beaujolais, waar de druif respectievelijk bekend stond als Suquet en Barde de Sultan.
An ancient grape from the Roman viticultural area of Marmertinum is forecast to be a key player in the future of Sicilian winemaking. Called Nocera, the variety is believed to have been the main grape of Roman ‘great estate’ Marmertinum in Sicily, as identified by Pliny the Elder in the second century BC.
The grape, which produces wines with deep colour, high levels of acidity and strong tannins, is being replanted by Sicilian producer Planeta, although others are also putting it in the ground, according to the producer. Speaking to thedrinksbusiness during Vinitaly this year, Planeta winemaker Patricia Tóth expressed her great belief in the grape. “I think that Nocera will be a very important variety for the future of Sicily,” she said, adding, “It has colour, structure, spices, and a citrus note, as well as a saltiness.”
While she told db that two Sicilian regions were officially allowed to use the grape in their wines – Faro and Mamertino di Milazzo ¬– it was almost entirely found as a minor component in a blend, with other native varieties Nerello Mascalese/Cappuccio or Nero d’Avola taking the dominant proportion. However, Planeta has, starting with the 2015 vintage, produced a pure Nocera to highlight the character and quality of this forgotten grape, although it has been making wine using Nocera since 2013, blending it with Nero d’Avola – the other authorised variety of Mamertino di Milazzo DOC. “Very few people are making Nocera as a single varietal wine, but it is a really exciting grape,” she said.
Continuing, she recorded, “Some are now planting it for use in Sicilia DOC, and some in Marsala, but there are still only 30 hectares of Nocera in total. Having told db that Nocera’s native source is the region of Messina in Sicily, home to the modern-day Mamertino di Milazzo DOC, she said that the grape was introduced to the Italian mainland in the C16th, and can still be found in Calabria. She also expressed enthusiasm for the rebirth of the ancient viticultural region of Marmertinum, recording that there are 11 producers now making Mamertino di Milazzo DOC, which has been enough for the region to form its own consorzio to promote the area, following the creation of the DOC in 2004. So, could the tough grape of Nocera, which retains its natural acidity – even in the hot climes of Sicily and Cantabria – become a flagship grape of the future?