This time Luciano Pignataro takes the stage:
Today Vinitaly begins, and we'd rather not think of tired or repetitive rituals, but rather new reasons for interest in wine.
For example Arianna Occhipinti, the fresh new image of Sicily, a symbol of Slowfood, made her bottle debut when I had already been to Verona in the spring eight times. We paid a visit to her with Carmelo Corona and Leo Ciomei (the gastrofanatic photos are his) to capture her sense of wine, an example of how it is necessary to buck the current well with seriousness and coherence, as those who look beyond the tips of their noses can do.
In all barely 12 hectares built around the heart of the estate born in the property her architect father bought as a country home in Vittoria.
The young Arianna, still far short of 30, tied herself to this sandy calcareous land incessantly buffeted by Iblean and Ionian winds, and went, a journalist might say, from big to small yields, from conventional to certifiably organic agriculture, from weet to savory, from softness to acidity, from selected to indigenous yeasts.
It is thus that Sicily defends herself, for example with a sip of Siccagno 2008.
It was the early 90s and Sicily seemed the new California, people were coming and buying, in wine bars people spoke only of Nero D'Avola, and it was mildly exotic to drink it in Rome or Milan.
Thus whole generations of young wine lovers grew up without knowing the true flavor of Sicily's most important red, thinking perhaps that the wind bore licorice from Rossano, and that the land yielded Modica Chocolate rather than wine.
It's rather like someone who eats Mozzarì thinking it's Mozzarella.
Rivers of resinous wood with Merlottish accents, tremendous alcohol, sweet and cloying.
Here is the Siccagno 2008, fresh, savory, and cherry laced, it should be adopted by all those wine classes as the archetype of a famed and forgotten varietal. Yes, because another Nero D'Avole, the real one, is still possible.
We drink it with new feelings and brimming with passion, we slake our thirst with a lively, dynamic, light wine.
And we love this tomboy of ours.
Published Simultaneously by IGP, I Giovani Promettenti.
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