Arianna Occhipiniti's wine education began well before eventual enrollment in oenology school,having started at age 16 in the cellar of famed uncle Giusto Occhipinti of COS winery in Sicily.
From the onset of her Vittoria estate's founding in 2004,she adhered to organic viticulture,hand harvesting and indigenous yeast fermentation that contrasted bulk wine production from the region. Even more atypical,her lack of irrigation in an otherwise hot climate has been a secret to making elegant wines,citing freshness and minerality from subsoils that young vines or those grown with chemicals fail to reach en route to producing cooked or hot characteristics.
Initially less than 2.5 acres,Arianna's vineyards have since grown to nearly 62 and remain lined with Fava beans and other useful plants for cover crops between rows. The red sand soils over limestone underneath are the source of 2017's 'SP68' rosso (named for the nearby road),which is a Frappato/Nero d'Avola blend commonly labeled as Cerasuolo but requiring longer aging under DOCG rules that Arianna eschews in favor of a fresher take. Fermented in concrete tanks with a two-week skin maceration prior to pressing,the wine is aged in the same vessel for 8 months before being bottled unfiltered.
- Arianna Occhipinti
- Frappato (70%) & Nero d'Avola (30%)
- Alcohol %
"Arianna is the niece of Giusto Occhpinti, whose COS wines are undisputedly amongst the very best of Sicily. In 1998, Giusto invited her to help him out at Vinitaly for four days. Arianna was 16 at the time and knew nothing about wine; the experience was such a good one that she decided to study viticulture and oenology in university. This quickly proved counter-intuitive, since everything she had learned from her uncle (organic viticulture, hand-harvesting, native yeast fermentations) clashed with what she was being taught in school.
Undeterred, Arianna started making her own wine with just one hectare of abandoned vines in the commune of Vittoria. Over the years, she has progressively expanded the estate by replanting 10 hectares of the region's indigenous Frappato and Nero D'Avola in selection massale. A few years later, she was able to start renting 50 year old Frappato and 45 year old Nero D'Avola vines, both independently bottled as single varietal/vineyard
cuvées. In 2012, an additional eight hectares of 19 year old vines were acquired, which for the time being will be used to produce more of her "SP68".
Continually pushing things forward, Arianna built herself a new cellar in 2014, a huge step up from the cramped, chaotic space she used to work in. Besides the obvious advantage of having more space, it has permitted Arianna to start a new regiment of concrete fermentation and aging for both "SP68"'s, which used to to be produced in stainless steel and
fiberglass. Some of the tanks are glass lined, some aren't. They are all 2mx2m, and with the way they are set up, the juice can be
worked by gravity." - Louis/Dressner Selections
- Vineyard notes
-Farming: Biodynamic / Organic
- Awards and accolades
-Importer: Louis/Dressner Selections