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Arianna Occhipinti is one of our favorite producers of Sicilian wine. And of Italian wine. And of natural wine.Why did Occhipinti become a star? Is it the cool wax tops and funky labels? Her personal... Read More
Arianna Occhipinti is one of our favorite producers of Sicilian wine. And of Italian wine. And of natural wine.Why did Occhipinti become a star? Is it the cool wax tops and funky labels? Her personal charisma? Those help of course. But the real reason--and the only reason her fame has lasted--is the wines themselves. Arianna's wines are amazing on multiple levels. She proved that natural wines with pure fruit don’t come just from Beaujolais. Italy can make them too. Even Sicily, which for years seemed to produce only supermarket wine.She also proved that what unites great natural wines isn't any particular flavor of naturalness, but their purity. Their ability to express their unique identity with a clarity and a vibrancy that makes drinking them more like communing with a foreign land and culture than just having a glass of wine.So her wines don't have fruit anything like the great Beaujolais path-breakers of natural wine. Her wines have Sicily's gushing fruit (it's warmer than in Beaujolais!), balanced by just enough acidity and an undertone of minerality. Her Frappato has a salty undercurrent that balances the warm fruit and the granite minerality. It's a legendary food wine, especially with red sauce made tangy with anchovies. And her white wine manages to be at once a fresh and beautifully lime-inflected sipper and a genuine wine of terroir.