Siccagno is my Nero d’Avola, born from those concentrated grapes which we precisely call Siccagna. Nero relates mostly Sicily, that it is wild, but it is also fresh and elegant and it is red fruit flavored. It has something noble and aristocratic, but it is also melancholic as a poet or a philosopher. It is passionate, full of warmth and contrasts.
Alcohol Grade: 12%
Aging/ Vinification: fermentation with only indigenous yeast and skin maceration for 30 days. Aging of 22 months in large 25HL slavonian oak barrels, 2 months in bottle. Unfiltered.
Best to have it: 16-18ºC
Size: 750 ml
The Winery: Agricola Occhipinti
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.
In her early 20s, she began making wines in her home area of Vittoria, Sicily. Frappato amazed her: a grape capable of making floral, elegant reds, so different from the big, ripe overpowering Nero d’Avolas that had so far defined Sicilian wine. She decided her style would be one of finesse and elegance and perfume over power. Her first vintage (2004) was released in 2006 when she was just 24. At the time she had just one hectare of vines.
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.
The grapes from which Occhipinti Siccagno come are from 35 year-old plots with sandy soils of a calcareous nature, located at a height of 280 metres above sea level. The vineyards are cultivated according to the principles of organic agriculture and the bunches are harvested by hand. The must macerates for 30 days with the skins and ferments with its own yeasts. The wine is aged for 14 months in large barrels (or botti) of Slavonian oak, and remains one month in the bottle. It is not filtered.