Occhipinti - 2017 Siccagno

About 15 km from the Mediterranean in Vittoria, Arianna Occhipinti’s vineyards are planted with Frappato and Nero d'Avola, and farmed biodynamically. The demand for Occhipinti’s natural vinos far outstrip their tiny production. ‘Siccagno’ – which is both site name and dialect for ‘good wine’ – is 100% Nero d'Avola from two parcels on white limestone soils; one being bush-trained, the other in double Guyot. The vines are 30 years old and biodynamically farmed. The fruit is harvested by hand, destemmed with the berries left whole. Wild ferment and 20-25 days skin maceration. Aged for 2 years in 3000-litre Stockinger casks (Austrian Oak), bottled unfined, unfiltered. This is special stuff.

A bit of background, folks. Arianna started making wine at age 16 in the cellar of her uncle Giusto Occhipinti – the proprietor of Vittoria's most famous winery, COS. Her uncle raised his wines (as well as his niece) on organic viticulture, harvest by hand, his wines vinified with native yeasts – not typical of Sicily's bulk-driven wine production. There was never any doubt for Arianna about pursuing a natural approach to winemaking. "In those early years I definitely had a more militant attitude about it. Making natural wine was a mission, something worth fighting for", says Arriana, "Now that I've grown up a little bit, the mission is making wine of terroir. You have to respect the vineyards, and nature in general. When I wake up in the morning, I want to feel free. Making this wine is my opportunity to feel free."

Varietal Frappato, Nero d'Avola || Region Sicily, Italy || ABV 13.5% || Vol 750ml