Occhipinti BB (Bombolieri) Frappato IGT Terre Siciliane "Vino di Contrada"

Regular price $88.00

Wine Maker: Arianna Occhipinti

Appellation: Sicily, Italy

Grape Varieties: Frappato

BB (Bombolieri): This home parcel is adjacent to the winery and the last of the three to be harvested. It consists of a few rows of 25-year-old, bush-trained (aka alberello) vines on a scant 25 centimeters of sandy white topsoil over pure limestone rock with almost no clay. The limestone holds water, slows down ripening and contributes a firm acidity and structure. Arianna finds it to be the most austere of the trio.

100% Frappato. The three different wines in this limited-production 6-pack are all Frappato, vinified and aged identically to demonstrate the distinctions amongst the three different contrade or districts. There have been 3 vintages so far: 2016, 2017 and 2019. Contrada names are not permitted on Sicilian wine labels, so each name is represented by a two-letter abbrevation--"BB" for Bomboliere, "PT" for Pettineo and "FL" for Fossa di Lupo--with each being cheekily struck through with a line to emphasize their illicitness. The farming is certified-organic with biodynamic practices. Harvest is by hand. The bunches are mostly destemmed with the berries left whole. Fermentation is spontaneous with native yeasts in 20-hectoliter concrete tanks with a maceration of  2-3 weeks and occasional punchdowns. The wines are aged in concrete for about 22 months and bottled without fining or filtration. Sulfur use is minimal. 

n 2006, Joe and Kevin fell in love with the wines of an unassuming 24 year old showing her first vintage at an Italian wine fair. Today, Arianna Occhipinti has become a seminal figure for a new generation of wine lovers. Her rise to prominence has been meteoric, and rightfully so: anyone who has met Ari will instantly vouch that her charming personality and positive attitude are contagious.

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, but 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.

Undeterred, Arianna started making her own wine with just 1 hectare of abandoned vines in the commune of Vittoria. Over the years, she has progressively expanded the estate by replanting 10 hectares of the region's indigenous Frappato and Nero D'Avola in selection massale. A few years later, she was able to start renting 50 year old Frappato and 45 year old Nero D'Avola vines, both independently bottled as single varietal/vineyard cuvées. In 2012, an additional 7 hectares of 19 year old vines were acquired, which for the time being will be used to produce more SP-68.

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. Some of the tanks are glass lined, some aren't. They are all 2mx2m, and with the way they are set up, the juice can be worked by gravity.

-Louis / Dressner