Santa Margherita (SM) 2020


100% Grillo.

In 2016, Arianna acquired new property and planted four plots of Grillo, totaling two hectares, in the contrada of Santa Margherita ("SM" on the label since contrada names are not legal) in Chiaramonte Gulfi, at the foot of the Iblei mountains, north of her home turf in Vittoria. The organically farmed vines are planted on hillsides surrounded by pine forest, old oaks and ancient olive trees at around 490 meters above sea level, a cool area buffeted by wind constantly and at the furthest extreme for ripening grapes. The soils are sandy, calcareous marl of ancient origin. 2020 is the first vintage in bottle. The fruit was harvested by hand, destemmed and gently pressed; the juice was macerated with the skins for two days and spontaneously fermented in concrete tank. The wine was aged for a year in oval casks of Austrian oak (from cooperage Pauscha) and bottled without fining or filtering. 


Arianna Occhipinti has become a seminal figure to 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 the what she was being taught to do in school.

Undettered, Arianna started making her own wine with just 1 hectare of abandoned vines in the commune of Vittoria, and progressively expanded her estate by replanting 10 hectares of Frapatto and Nero D'Avola (the region's two indigenous red grapes) in selection massale, all trained in guyot. 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.