Nestled in the south-eastern corner of Sicily, 25km east of Ragusa, the city of Vittoria is home to Arianna Occhipinti's vineyards. Founded in 1607, Vittoria was surrounded by some of Sicily's best vineyards, where the local Nero d'Avola and Frapato grapes made for some of the Island's finest wines. . The commercialization of Sicilian wines over the years, however, lead to the region’s wine being sold in bulk and exported as cheap blending wine. It was only in the 1980s when Arianna's uncle, Guisto Occhipinti, set up the bespoke COS winery that the region's modern wines begun to restore the glorious reputation of the wines which first made Vittoria’s name.
Arianna's first memory of wine is of her visit to VinItaly (the annual Italian wine fair in Verona) as a teenager to help her uncle. She vividly remembers the energy in the air and how excited and adventurous she felt with each new wine she tried and winemaker that she met. A couple of years later, aged only 18, she enrolled in a winemaking school in Milan. While at first focussing on the conventional and technical aspects of winemaking, Arianna soon became quite vocal about an alternative and natural approach to winemaking. Upon graduation she moved back South to produce natural wines from the local varietals of the land she loved so much.
Back in Vitoria Arianna started working a tiny vineyard plot around her house and in 2004, aged just 21, her first vintage was born. The 4000 bottles made from the local Nero d'Avola and Frapato grapes were an instant success and sold out within months. Arianna hasn’t looked back: working around the clock she's a one woman band now producing today around 70'000 bottles which all, in their own way, capture the essence of Vitoria in a bottle. When not in the vineyards Arianna is busy travelling the world, meeting fellow natural winemakers and spreading the word and love for Sicilian wine around.
With 8 vintages now under her belt her wines are original, intriguing, mysterious and elegant. “Wines full of energy and emotions”, in Arianna’s own words.