Arianna is one of the leaders of the global natural wine movement. Her beautiful and personal interpretations of Sicily’s grape varieties are completely unique; from fine wine, singular terroir Frappato to the widely-loved SP68 wines; she makes a wine for everyone. Read about her journey: from wine to polyculture.
"Vineyards teach us to wait. I’m not usually a patient person, I don’t like to wait. Although that’s changing now I’m a little more mature. Vineyards are a good test for us – it takes three years from planting before we’re able to make wine, and the wine itself also takes time. The vineyards and the wine teach us and enable us to reflect. It’s grounding."
People: Arianna Occhipinti
Place: Vittoria, Sicily, Italy
Varieties: Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Albanello, Zibibbo (a synonym for Muscat of Alexandria) and Grillo
Farming: Organic with elements of biodynamics and permaculture
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? The iconic red SP68 cuvée has been made with a small portion of whole bunches since 2016. She selects some bunches of Frappato and puts them in the bottom of the tank, and then fills destemmed whole berries on top with a tiny bit of juice. The whole bunches introduce a tiny touch of carbonic maceration.
Since day one, it’s been important for Arianna to find a balance between her vineyards and the local ecosystem. She wants to combat monoculture, and in recent years has been expanding her efforts. She says,
“I have a farm with a lot of different cultures. The aim was never to have only vineyards. I’m also farming vegetables, oranges and pears. We make juice and marmalade from the oranges, and a spirit from the pears. We also farm wheat and make pasta, and sell capers here in the shop, too. These small projects are a way to introduce biodiversity to the farm, and to employ more local people and to serve as a source for inspiration. 80% of the people who work for us are local, and I like to create a connection with them. They bring energy. I have many friends of course, but Vittoria, my place, needs more connections and natural farmers.”
They also have local varieties of olive trees, some of which are over 100 years old. Her 30 orange trees are also all different varieties.