For many years we tasted with Arianna Occhipinti at various fairs around Europe. When we met with her it was never about business, but about connecting, tasting and appreciating her vision and the wines she created. Even though our schedules are extremely tight, when we are at fairs it was always such a pleasure to take 15 minutes with Arianna and just appreciate what she was accomplishing.
So it was a very pleasant surprise when we received an email from Arianna letting us know she was looking for representation. We made arrangements to visit the winery the following year are were thrilled to start a collaboration.
Occhipinti is in Vittoria, the south western part of Sicily. Here the weather is very warm (30+ Celcius in November) but the winds from the Iberian Sea and the limestone terroir allow wines of full ripeness while also remaining finessed and nuanced – especially in the hands of someone like Arianna.
The vineyards are composed of red sand and limestone, cultivated with biodynamic and organic farming. Great care is taken to preserve the land and the wines are made with as little intervention as possible: hand harvesting, natural fermentation in concrete, minimal sulphur – no other additions, elevage in large, old barrels, no fining or filtration.
Arianna Occhipinti is an extremely passionate, hardworking and truly inspiring individual. She is at once strong and maybe a little stubborn while also kind and compassionate. To drink her wines is very much like being in her presence – intriguing, slightly unnerving and all at once comforting. We could ramble on about Arianna but I think it’s more apt to let her explain her vision in her own words…..
“Goethe said: “Substance is nothing, what counts is the gesture by which they are made.” And the first thought that I’ve learned from wine making it was to accept. Accept the diversity of soils, the slope of the ground, the altitude, and the originality of a vineyard. To accept means to respect. To respect the earth and its balance.”