ARIANNA OCCHIPINTI, VITTORIA
Biodynamic principles, natural, very limited availability
Arianna Occhipinti is the niece of Giusto Occhipinti of the legendary COS estate in Vittoria, south-eastern Sicily. Despite being relatively young, she is incredibly clear about her ethos and philosophy, which is to produce wines that express the unique territory of their native Iblein mountain vineyards. It is a windswept place with reddish, iron-rich soils and crabbed trees which hunch over low stone walls surrounding the vineyards.
Agricultural traditions here are millenia-old and the SP68 cuvees indeed allude to this fact. The Strada Provinciale 68 is but a continuation of a three thousand year old stone track which ancient farmers would have used to bring their own wines to the coastal trading towns of Lentini and Catania. “Never as in Bombolieri I can feel that I’m carrying with me past and future at the same time. It was the oldest wine route ever documented.”
All the vineyards are worked using biodynamic principles and the work in the cellar is measured…not pushing the wine in any way…letting it find its own space…..natural yeasts, no temperature control, no fining or filtration and minimal SO2 at bottling.
The Siccagno Nero d’Avola, also grown in similar vineyards to the Frappato, but the vines are on average 35 years old. Harvested first ten days in October, indigenous yeast fermentation. 30 days skin maceration. Aged in large 25 hl Slavonian oak barrels, 2 months in botle before release. Unfiltered.
“Siccagno is my Nero d’Avola, born from those concentrated grapes which we precisely call Siccagna. Nero relates mostly Sicily, that it is wild, but it is also fresh and elegant and it is red fruit flavoured. That it has something noble and aristocratic, but it is also melancholic as a poet or a philosopher. That it is passionate, full of warmth and contrasts…” Arianna Occhipinti.