In a nutshell: An aromatic, juicy and biodynamic Sicilian white made by Arianna Occhipinti
The lowdown: The area around Vittoria near the southern tip of Sicily is one of the island's premier wine regions and is where the highly regarded Arianna Occhipinti runs her small biodynamic estate. The SP68 is a local road which seems to connect many of her vineyards and which led to her naming this wine after it. Made from the Sicilian varieties Zibibbo (aka Muscat of Alexandria) and Albanella, as well as being biodynamic it's also made with indigenous yeasts, as little intervention as possible and no added sulphur. It ages on its lees for 6 months in concrete vats before being bottled unfiltered. The end result is a brillianty aromatic wine with notes of white flowers, pink grapefruit, lychees, herbs and spices which is wonderfully light on the palate. The lees ageing gives it a bit of tannic grip and a slightly olive like savouriness at the finish.
When to drink: Its mouthwatering qualities make it a good match with seafood like calamari, or octopus.
Arianna Occhipinti first fell in love with wine after being inspired by the example of her uncle Giusto who runs the highly regarded COS estate. After studying oenology in Milan she returned to her home region around Vittoria in Sicily and began making wines on her own account in the mid 2000s from just a single hectare of vines. A few years later she was able to buy a small farm which has since allowed her to increase her vineyard area dramatically. And from here she makes a wonderful range of naturally made wines using local varieties such as Nero d'Avola and Frappato for reds and Albanello and Zibibbo for whites. The hallmark of her style is in making wines with a degree of finesse and elegance in contrast to the often powerful styles commonly seen in this part of the world.