From: Sicily, Italy
Varietal: Nero d’Avola, Frappato
Tasting: The palate is greeted with a harmonious blend of ripe cherry and blackberry, underpinned by a refreshing acidity and silky tannins that lead to a persistent, mineral-driven finish.
Pairing: When it comes to food pairing, the versatility of Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico shines. Its balance of fruit, acidity, and tannin makes it an ideal companion to a wide range of dishes, from traditional Sicilian cuisine such as pasta alla norma or caponata to more contemporary creations that feature grilled meats or roasted vegetables, or with dished with spice aromatics like fennel. The wine's elegant structure and aromatic complexity also make it a delightful pairing with aged cheeses, where the nutty, savory flavors can beautifully complement the wine's fruity and mineral notes.
Orecchiette With Fennel and Sausage
By Florence Fabricant
About: Azienda Agricola Cos was founded in 1980 by three friends, Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano, in the town of Vittoria, located in the southeastern corner of Sicily, Italy. The winery's name, COS, is an acronym derived from the initials of the founders' surnames, symbolizing the collaborative spirit and shared vision that brought them together.
Azienda Agricola COS began when these three university students, passionate about their local land and its winemaking traditions, embarked on a project to revive Vittoria's ancient winemaking heritage. Their venture started modestly, with the trio purchasing a small parcel of land, including an old farmhouse and surrounding vineyards. This decision was driven by a desire to preserve and promote the indigenous grape varieties of their region, particularly Nero d’Avola and Frappato, which are central to the production of Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily’s first and only DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) wine.
From the outset, COS adopted organic farming practices, a relatively rare philosophy that reflected their commitment to sustainability and environmental respect. They were pioneers in the region for their dedication to organic viticulture and for their innovative approach to winemaking, which sought to combine traditional methods with a modern understanding of viticulture and oenology.
One of the hallmark practices that set COS apart was their early adoption of amphora aging, a method that dates back to ancient winemaking traditions. COS aimed to emphasize the fruit’s purity, terroir expression, and minimal intervention in the winemaking process by fermenting and aging their wines in terracotta vessels buried underground. This approach allowed the wines to develop complexity and character in a way that respected the natural qualities of the grapes and the unique environmental conditions of their vineyards.
Over the years, COS has grown in size and reputation, now standing as one of Sicily’s most respected and innovative wineries. Their commitment to terroir-driven wines, organic agriculture, and the revival of ancient winemaking techniques has not only contributed to the resurgence of interest in Sicilian wines. Still, it has also inspired a new generation of winemakers in Italy and beyond.
Cerasuolo, a term deeply embedded in the Italian lexicon of wine, embodies the essence of its etymology, "cerasa," meaning cherry, in both color and taste across different regions. However, when distinguishing between the varieties, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily's esteemed DOCG red wine, stands apart with its unique composition and historical richness. In terms of Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, the name "Cerasuolo" here suggests the deep cherry-red color characteristic of these rosés. Unlike many lighter rosés found elsewhere, Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo is noted for its fuller body and more pronounced flavors, thanks to the character of the Montepulciano grape and the winemaking techniques that extract more color and substance from the skins.
Unlike its Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo rosé counterpart, this Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a red wine blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato grapes, offering robust flavors and structured notes provided by Nero d’Avola to the light aromatics of Frappato. This blend not only achieves a balance of body and bouquet but also captures the terroir's essence, reflecting the sun-kissed Sicilian landscape from which it originates. Its significance is further underscored by its DOCG status, marking Cerasuolo di Vittoria as Sicily’s only DOCG.
Azienda Agricola Cos has always been at the forefront of organic agriculture in Sicily, pioneering practices that respect the land and its cycles. This philosophy extends to every aspect of their winemaking, from the careful selection of grape varieties to the meticulous management of their vineyards. The blend of 40% Frappato di Vittoria and 60% Nero d’Avola in their Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico is a celebration of Sicilian heritage, combining the aromatic finesse of Frappato with the robust intensity of Nero d’Avola to create a wine that is both complex and harmonious.
At an altitude of 230 meters above sea level, the vines benefit from the cooling breezes and significant diurnal temperature variations characteristic of this region. This microclimate plays a crucial role in the development of the grapes, ensuring a slow and balanced ripening process that enhances the aromatic profile and maintains the grapes' natural acidity. The soil expresses the island's geological richness, comprised of red, medium-consistency soil with a base of sub-Apennine sands of Pliocene origin mixed with limestone and siliceous elements. This unique composition provides excellent drainage and encourages the vines to extend their roots deeply into the earth, drawing out the nuanced minerality and complexity that define the character of Cos wines.
The 2020 vintage of Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico is a culmination of these exceptional conditions, a year that saw optimal weather patterns and careful vineyard management converge to produce grapes of outstanding quality. The winery's commitment to organic farming and biodiversity is evident in the vibrancy and health of the fruit, harvested at the peak of maturity towards the end of September and the beginning of October. The fermentation process, carried out spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, reflects Cos's philosophy of minimal intervention, allowing the natural qualities of the grape to express themselves fully in the wine.
Aging in Slavonian barrels adds another layer of complexity to the wine, imparting subtle notes of spice and enhancing the inherent structure of the Nero d’Avola while allowing the delicate fruitiness of the Frappato to shine through. The result is a wine that balances intensity and elegance with a rich bouquet of red fruits, floral hints, and a touch of earthiness that speaks directly to the soul of Sicily.
Payment & Security
Your payment information is processed securely. We do not store credit card details nor have access to your credit card information.