Barberry Garden

A wine corner in a crazy world


Fossa di Lupo FL - 2017

Arianna Occhipinti

4.20 / 5.0

red still, dry
IGP Terre Siciliane, Italy
2570 UAH, 2989 UAH, 1510 UAH
not available
Arianna Occhipinti Fossa di Lupo FL 2017

It is not permitted to place contrada (district) names on Sicilian wine labels, so Arianna figured a clever way around the rules. Each contrada is represented by a two-letter abbreviation cheekily struck through with a line to emphasize their illicitness. SM stands for Santa Margherita, BB - for Bomboliere, PT - for Pettineo and FL - for Fossa di Lupo.

Fossa di Lupo (FL) is a few kilometers down the SP68 from the winery. It is Arianna's original 6-hectare vineyard. These vines are relatively young at about 15 years, albarello-trained and planted on a thin 40 centimeters of sand over limestone rock. According to Arianna, wines from Fossa di Lupo typically originate as fruity but also austere, presenting great acidity.

Arianna Occhipinti's Frappato FL is a red wine of great substance: juicy, tart and sanguine, an extraordinarily lively drink. Expression of the frappato in the Fossa di Lupo district, the most energetic, between biting acidity and austerity.

— Tripple A

Destemming, maceration on the skins and spontaneous fermentation in 85 hl concrete vats for 25 days with daily pumping over and punching down. Racking and ageing in the same containers for 6 months and in Austrian oak barrels for 12 months.


4.20 / 5.0750 ml@Wix Kyiv Office · On the road between two winds: Arianna Occhipinti

At first, it bursts with notes of canned tuna (although someone told me it's a can itself). But with time it opens up and reveals notes of cherry confiture, peonies, raspberry, Sicilian orange, green herbs, briar and blood. A bit restrained (or shy), but so delicious and quaffable. It's not as easy and as delicate as PT - it has a bit of BB's rebellious spirit. But there is so much joy in every sip!

Wine #7 on On the road between two winds: Arianna Occhipinti event.

4.20 / 5.0750 ml@Garage

What a beautiful development of Frappato from Fossa di Lupo contrada. It's aromatic and flowery with notes of cherry confiture, peonies, raspberry, Sicilian orange and briar. Medium-bodied, bone dry and crisp. The tannin is dry and medium. Good balance with a long and persistent finish. Charming flavours of Sicilian orange, eucalyptus, briar, and iron. The bitterness at the end works on complexity. Overall, it's an elegant, sophisticated and beautiful wine.

4.20 / 5.0750 ml

You pour a little bit of this wine and you get a glass full of bloody sausages with some red flowers, lots of cherry, raspberry and spices. Well balanced, young and not complex despite the subtlety of bouquet and palate. But I'm in love with iron (e.g. ferrum) finish mixed with a ripe cherry.

4.20 / 5.0750 ml

Ripe cherry, blood sausage, red flowers, cherry nut, spices and balsamic notes. Still very young, fruit-forward character. Requires decanting (for at least 30 minutes) to become smooth. Not perfectly, but well balanced, tannins are still rough. Pleasant and drinkable wine with long evolving aftertaste and flavours of ripe cherry and ferrum with pleasant vanilla finish.

Arianna Occhipinti

Arianna Occhipinti is a winemaker from Vittoria who founded her own winery in 2004, bottled her first commercial vintage in 2006 and today works exclusively with estate fruit. She embraced winemaking thanks to her uncle, Guisto Occhipinti, proprietor of Vittoria's most famous winery, COS. At the age of 16 years, Arianna started to help him in the cellars. She loved this experience so much that her future connected to wine tightly.

After graduating from oenology school, Arianna started with only 1 hectare of abandoned vines attached to a family vacation house. Over the years, she acquired 25 hectares featuring only autochthonous varieties - 50% Frappato, 35% Nero d'Avola and 15% white varieties Albanello and Zibibbo. Almost all vines are young because Arianna planted them on her own. But she also added to her holdings 60 years old albarello-trained vines, which she initially rented.

Not irrigating, harvesting late and not using fertilizers are the secret to making more elegant wines in the area. The freshness and minerality in my wines come from the subsoils. Any wine made from young vines or chemically grown vines feeding only off of the top soil will have the cooked, hot characteristics people associate with wine from warm regions.

These days Arianna Occhipinti is famous as a biodynamic winemaker. There is zero irrigation in her vineyards in this hot, windy climate! To protect the vines, she grows cover crops (like fava beans) and other plants between every other row. Arianna tries to minimize intervention in the winemaking process.

Arianna is regarded as a symbol of success in the world of Biodynamic Farming and Natural Wine Making. She has remained committed to those principles while evolving from her originally more dogmatic outlook. Below is her response to importer Jules Dressner's question about her feeling about the term "natural wine":

I make natural wine, but this is a term I'm beginning to be less and less comfortable with, because its implications are very complicated. I really want to stress that my main goal is to make a good wine that reflects where it comes from, and for me the only way to successfully do this is to make the wine naturally. When I first started, people were just starting to talk about natural wine. It was very important to me to think about all these issues, and in those early years I definitely had a more militant attitude about it. Making natural wine was a mission, something worth fighting for. Now that I've grown up a little bit, the mission is making wine of terroir. You have to respect the vineyards, and nature in general. When I wake up in the morning, I want to feel free. Making this wine is my opportunity to feel free. So again, my goal is not to make natural wine, working this way is a process to make good wine.