The rise that the young Arianna Occhipinti, and her wines, have had in little more than 15 years of history, is a phenomenon that deserves to be studied, as it is a reality made, certainly, of success but also of a lot of commitment and effort. This young woman, newly graduated in oenology, soon began to cut her teeth, buying in 2004 , at just over 20 years, a piece of land in the area of Vittoria, in Sicily. After just over 15 years the hectares have become 22, distributed between the districts of Bombolieri, Bastonaca and Pettineo, along the Provincial Road 68, an important commercial route which from remote times connects Victoria to Northern Sicily.
Arianna’s background allows her to deal firsthand with all the stages of production, without neglecting the administrative and marketing aspects (which see her as the undisputed protagonist). Her productive philosophy, born from the visceral attachment to “her” lands, could certainly be defined as biological, if it were not that the definitions could be tightened. Certainly the vineyards are manually cultivated, without pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, chemical or synthetic fertilizers, and its biodiversity is preserved, even with the grassing of the soil and the spring practice of green manure. Cellar operations are the direct consequence of those in the vineyard, with rich and healthy grapes that ferment spontaneously, with indigenous yeasts, and that become wine with a homeopathic addition of sulfur dioxide.
The area of Vittoria is obviously famous for its wine, Cerasuolo di Vittoria docg, and Arianna, who certainly could not ignore this famous denomination, decided to confront it with her Cerasuolo di Vittoria docg Grotte Alte, which she defines “”the synthesis of Sicily” and her “most ambitious” wine. More specifically, as the denomination itself requests, it is a blend of Nero d’Avola (50%) and Frappato (50%) obtained from vineyards of 40 years of age, cultivated at an altitude of 280 meters, with a density of 6000 vines per hectare, on sandy-calcareous soils of medium consistency. After the harvest, usually in the first decade of October, the spontaneous fermentation, and the maceration on the skins for about a month, in concrete vats of 85 hl (with daily pumping over and fulling) , the wine is aged for 32 months in 25 hl Slavonian oak barrels and 4 more, after bottling, without any filtration.
The 2014 vintage has an impenetrable ruby color, with a range of aromas that starts with hints of wild blackberry, prune, red currant and Mediterranean scrub, followed by orange peel, dried red flowers, licorice and vinyl, with concluding echoes of graphite and iodine. The palate, although round and textured, is never tiring, thanks to the good freshness and the sapid/mineral component, enriched by a slight spiciness, elegant tannins, and the return of red fruit and Mediterranean scrub, that accompany the sip to an excellent persistence finish.
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