I fall in love easily and my latest crush is an Italian
grape variety Frappato. Sicilian sourced
and dismissed in many wine guides.
Obscure and unknown pop up as the adjectives. An Italian study published
a few years back using DNA typing showed a close genetic relationship between
Sangiovese and ten other Italian grape varieties (slutty Sangio!), including my
beloved Frappato. So it is not a stretch
that this little mystery grape did more than kiss its Italian cousin to the
I’ve only tried a handful of them myself, not too many seem
to exist. In each case the wines are
seductively perfumed and spicy with a bit of a wild streak.
One of my favorites is made by Arianna Occhipinti, a
20-something winemaker from Vittoria, the south eastern tip of Sicily. A region often associated with Marsala,
Arianna’s wines are non-conformist and a bit irreverent
Run, don’t walk to try and find a bottle for yourself. Other names include: Frappato di Vittoria,
Frappato Nero, Frappato Nero di Vittoria, Frappatu, Frappatu di Vittoria,
Nerello, Nerello di Catania, and Nero Capitano.