Occhipinti New Arrivals including New Single Contradas

A cult wine producer in Italy with a burgeoning international following, Arianna Occhipinti farms 18 hectares of certified organically grown native grapes. She started tending two hectares of vines on her parents estate in her university days, where she was dismayed by the emphasis on chemistry and laboratory work; by contrast her uncle Giusto Occhipinti, of the well-known Sicilian COS estate, believes in natural winemaking and Arianna grew to prefer that approach to winemaking. Her wines have an earthy, almost raw quality and are more about finesse than power. IAN D'AGATA

It's amazing to have watched the star of Arianna Occhipinti rise to such heights in such a short time. The niece of Sicilian winemaking royalty in Giusto Occhipinti, she emerged as a darling of the natural wine circuit but her legion of fans extends much further than that myopia and is built on the back of her unique and characterful wines. Based in Vittoria, her 18 hectares of vines is largely devoted to the staples of the zone in Frappato and Nero d'Avola. She farms organically and makes wine in a non-interventionist manner - long macerations, no additions, neutral oak/concrete, limited sulphur and only at bottling - are the staples of the approach. At their best, the wines are some of the most expressive, energy-riven and life-affirming of their ilk. In them, one feels the passion and sense excitement of Occhipinti brings to any converstaion about her craft and her vineyards. The vineyards themselves alternate soil types largely between sand and limestone.

The stable of wines includes SP 68 Rosso, Bianco, her Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico "Grotte Alte", a "basic" Frappato (sourced from two vineyards - Bastonaca and Fossa di Lupo), and her Siccagno which is a Nero d'Avola and comes from two other vineyards, Bombolieri and Fossa di Lupo. Over the years she has noted that her plots traverse two main soil types - limestone and sand - and that this also translates into distinct profiles. The former giving her energy and depth and the latter giving more aromatics and finesse. In 2016 vintage she has refined this even further producing three separate Frapptao contrade (district) wines - Bombolieri, Pettineo and Fosso di Lupo. Each plays to the theme of the soil types and bear testament to Occhipinti's insatiable appetite to unlock the secrets of her beloved Frappato. Predictably they are made in miniscule quantities and demand is fever pitch.

These wines resonate because they take you by the hand and give you a glimpse of a place on the other side of the planet; it's unique terroir fingerprint is in the glass. That's special.

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