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Recommendations for a visit to Sicily


Arianna Occhipinti is another must-try. She is the daughter of one of the guys from COS, and makes the best frappato about.

I like “natural” - and indeed COS and Occhipinti are on that spectrum - but Cornelissen is just too out there, even for me.

Considering the food in Sicily is to my mind the best in the world, I’ve never had much luck eating in Palermo, but I would advise you to eat in the new(er!) part of town on the other side of the theatre. Most places I’ve found in the old city are tourist traps (maybe it’s just my bad luck?)

I don’t know the Catania/Siracusa area much.

I would recommend trips out from Palermo to visit Trapani, Marsala, and Selinunte (the best ruin on the island in my book). Of course you need a car for this. Marsala has the wonderful enoteca “La Sirena Ubriaca”, with some fabulous local wines matched with brilliant tapa-style nibbles. The Grillos are an eye opener. Marco De Bartoli makes great wine, and Nino Barraco’s “natural” grillo and zibibbo are another must-try.


As is this offering :slight_smile:


The Rallo is OK but not in the same league.

About time TWS started selling some of the good stuff!


Not daughter, but niece (should anyone care)


We visited Arianna Occhipinti’s winery last week and it was great. They do small-group morning and afternoon visits, which you must book in advance (there were four in our group). They charge EUR25 per person. You get an approx 1.5 hour tour of the vineyards, explanation of biodynamics/her winemaking philosophy (altho she may not be around herself), tour of barrel room and other facilities and then a tasting of around six wines – we had the SP68 red and white, the Il Frappato, a single plot Frappato (PT), the Siccagno nero d’avola and the Grotte Alte Cerasuolo di Vittoria. And the shop sells the SP68 at EUR13.50 a bottle, which is significantly less than UK retail. (Over at COS, the cellar door prices are less attractive.) The Siccagno was EUR22, if I remember, which also seemed good. Load up!


Incidentally, Arianna’s sister, Fausta, has a small hotel/agriturismo a couple of km from the winery, which is lovely. Not many rooms, but very nice and there’s a pool. The food is great (EUR42 for four course dinner) and the wine list is excellent – lots of Occhipinti, COS, Barraco etc at very reasonable prices. SP68 is around EUR28 and Siccagno at EUR34, and good stuff BTG for EUR5-7.