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Wine Geek Recommended
Medium Bodied
Bottle, 750 ml
Serve At:
57°-63° F
Italy > Sicily

Sicily, Italy
Arianna Occhipinti

Tami is a joint project between Arianna Occhipinti, and a handful of friends and neighbors, including her boyfriend, the owner of Tami wine bar in Siracusa. These well-priced and balanced wines are made from purchased fruit and fermented using indigenous yeasts. The project is supervised by Arianna. Arianna Occhipinti is a young winemaker who released her first vintage in 2004 at the age of 21.
She 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.
Now a burgeoning cult figure herself in the biodynamic movement, Arianna tends to 14 hectares of olive groves and 5 hectares of vineyards in the land around Vittoria, southeastern Sicily. Growing a few white varietals as well as Nero d'Avola, Occhipinti has built a reputation on Frappato, a secondary grape used in Sicily to brighten heavier Nero D'Avola. In addition to her high-end wines, Occhipinti decided to add this moderately priced second label.

Sicily's wine history dates back to ancient Greece, when the tiny island was a Hellenic colony. Though most famous for its sweet Marsala produced on the western side of the isle, Sicily also features a broad pallette of exciting dry wines made from native varietals that hail from its eastern coastal region. Carricante, for example, is a white wine grape that's indigineous to the black ashen soils of Italy's largest active volcano, Mt. Etna. Nero d'Avola is Sicily's most famous red wine grape, though Nerello Mascalese grown further north of Avola in the Catania region may give it a run for its money in the near future. No matter what kind of wine you enjoy, Sicily's got something that will kick-start your palate.

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