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Arianna Occhipinti And The Wines That Inspire Us

About Arianna Occhipinti

Made in a natural style without fuss, Arianna’s wines evoke a beauty and authenticity that belongs to Sicily alone. To us, her wines are the gold-standard for grit, intention, and an expanded definition of terroir.

This kind of terroir encompasses more than the immediate soil and climate but also the culture, identity, and history of Sicily herself. To truly grasp the character of Sicily, one must spend time amongst her people. But to catch a glimpse, one must simply take a sip of Arianna’s distinctive wines.



* Arianna and Wine Director, Tess Carlson                                                                              * A view of the Sicilian coast from Castelmola

This current release of Arianna’s wines, which just arrived at the Caffe, showcase an alarming complexity new to our lips. Tami, Arianna’s second label (often considered a simpler version of her higher-end namesake), is making waves of its own. The 2016 vintage offers a profundity that demonstrates obvious maturation of vines and possibly of the winemaker herself.  While offering a newfound earnestness, Tami remains undeniably drinkable. Arianna’s SP68 and Il Frappato carry forward this depth and retain their individual character. 

* The wine team at occhipinti in Vittoria, SIcIly


Il Frappato 2015                                    16/80       

Regal, feminine, and mysterious. There is something undefinable about this wine that makes me want to drink it on a daily basis, contemplating its nuances and hidden meanings. An excellent pairing for conversation and thought during an evening for two. 

SP68 red 2016                                        12/60

Frappato and Nero d’Avola. A wondrous combination of native Sicilian varietals that goes well with just about everything- From pan-seared fish to flank steak. 

Tami Frappato 2016                               9/45

We can’t get enough. This vintage sings to us, tempting us to dance, engage in heated discussion, or share intimate details. Complex enough on it’s own but friendly towards fare. 

Tami Nero d’Avola 2016                       9/45

Dark fruit balanced by briskness and acidity. A spicy finish. Recommended with burrata cheese, a fresh mozzarella stuffed with butter, cream and more cheese, and fresh figs. 

A note of gratitude

Often we talk about our winemakers but rarely do we give credit to the actors behind the scene. We are fortunate at Caffe Dolce to work with a group of fantastic distributors that we consider our friends. Drinking with one another is both a challenge in tolerance and a testament to the power of wine to unite disparate parties. Over years of tasting and hundreds of bottles shared with one another, we have learned a great deal about the technical aspects of wine and winemaking, but importantly, we have learned about what makes a wine truly beautiful. To all of us, the beauty of a wine lies in its power to move you- To tears, to experience pure joy in being, to feel more comfortable sharing your personality, to awe, and to gratitude. It is because of this lesson that I am, as Wine Director, able to offer you a list of wines I feel passionate about each week.  I encourage you, as you drink a wine or a bottle from our Caffe, to consider how it makes you feel and the experience it lends to your daily life.

It is impossible to talk about the producer, Arianna Occhipinti, without mentioning our chosen wine godmother, Antoinette Francine Garbagnati. Annie is the owner of Rocky Mountain Distributing and one of the most passionate oenophiles I’ve had the privilege of meeting. She goes beyond standard distributor duties to create connections with the producers themselves and to build a book comprised of intentional wine with raw character. Annie is responsible for bringing Arianna’s wines from Sicily to Montana, a long journey for glass and grapes.


* Antoinette Francine Garbagnati

Purple Tea Tasting with Lake Missoula Tea!

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Non-Profit Tuesday: Camp Washington

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New Years at the Caffe

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