Barberry Garden

A wine corner in a crazy world


SP68 Bianco - 2020

Arianna Occhipinti

3.90 / 5.0

white still, dry
IGP Terre Siciliane, Italy
Zibibbo, Albanello
958 UAH, 1064 UAH, 918 UAH, 835 UAH
not available
Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Bianco 2020

SP68 is the name of the road that cuts through Arianna's original vineyard in Vittoria. This road has existed for hundreds of years already. And the wine acquired this name because Arianna sees wine as a journey.

It's a 60/40 blend of Zibibbo and Albanello. The 15 years old vines grow on medium-density red sands and chalk from sub-Apennine limestone rocks at 280 meters above sea level. The fruit is destemmed and co-fermented with native yeasts in concrete vats and with 15-day-long skin maceration. Then the wine is aged in concrete vats for six months and bottled unfiltered.


4.00 / 5.0750 ml@Yellow Place Letka

One more fantastic bottle. Beautiful, delicious and quite sophisticated. A mix of herbs, citrus, and tea with a bit of VA. Round, well-balanced, salty and zappy. Shame it was the last bottle from my stash.

4.00 / 5.0750 ml@Wix Kyiv Office · On the road between two winds: Arianna Occhipinti

After checking my tasting notes, I can state that SP68 Bianco is unstable. Also, it's funny to witness a tight fight between Albanello and Zibibbo in each bottle.

Luckily for us, this bottle was gorgeous. Not overly complex, but beautiful. Oregano, mandarine, peach-flavoured ice tea and dried herbs. Round, well-balanced and relatively elegant despite apparent skin-contact influence on the palate. Salty, fresh and delicious.

Wine #1 on On the road between two winds: Arianna Occhipinti event.

3.80 / 5.0750 ml@101 Bar

More reductive than the previous bottle. Zibibbo-driven bouquet: yellow apple, dried herbs, not very fresh water, and honey. It is well balanced but IMO lacks freshness.

4.00 / 5.0750 ml@Elvira Kantiieva

I like how this bottle develops. Less reductive, more round and delicious. Dried herbs, honey, mandarin, orange peel peach, and yellow apple. I would love to taste it in a few years.

3.80 / 5.0750 ml@101 Bar

Expressive and slightly reductive bouquet. Honey, pear, mandarin, peach. Good acidity, a little bit too sweet. Long aftertaste, but not persistent. Has less energy than previous vintage. So drink now.

3.80 / 5.0750 ml@Kyiv

New release, so I could not pass by. Multiple times. Not that stressed as I would expect it to be. Chamomile, orange zest, quince and slight amber hints. Well balanced, has volume, but quite skin-deep. Will definitely taste again to see how it develops (alright, just to drink and enjoy it again). But IMHO it has potential to get better.

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.