Andrea Occhipinti farms a 4ha vineyard in Lazio, close to the Tuscan border and one hour north of Rome. Located in a region typically famed for food above its wines, Andrea dedicates himself to organic viticulture and the preservation of two varieties native to the area: Aleatico and Grechetto Rosso. The journey began when Andrea found himself in Gradoli during his studies at the University of Tuscia. Encountering Gradoli, one of the many comuni or municipalities which dot the hillsides, proved a pivotal moment and shortly after graduating Andrea purchased 4ha of vines here. The vineyards are set 450 metres above sea level, on the north-western shores of Lago di Bolsena - the largest volcanic lake in Europe. Andrea chooses to work specifically with grape varieties suited to this soil and which benefit from the pedoclimate; a microclimate within the soil that results from the combined effect of temperature, water content and aeration. The grapes are harvested by hand and the wines are vinified using native yeasts and minimal sulfites. In contrast to many other winemakers, Andrea doesn’t age any of his wines in wood, preferring earthenware tanks, stainless steel and amphorae.
While Aleatico and Grechetto Rosso are frequently the varieties found in Andrea’s wines, we’ve chosen one featuring 100% Ciliegiolo - a variety related to the more widely known Sangiovese. The name Ciliegiolo comes from the Italian for cherry, ciliegia, and certainly has some fruity notes along with Mediterranean herbs. Rather a light red than a rosé, we enjoy drinking it well chilled as a tasty aperitivo.