Organic Aleatico, Expressive & aromatic, hints of Raspberry, liquorice, cinnamon and pepper make the palate tingle with excitement. This delicious little natural wine from the unsung Lazio region of Italy is a superb example of the energy one can find by making wines naturally. The area of this small farm is located about 15 km from the Tuscan border and it is a region known for one of the mainstay wines of the cheap and cheerful Tratoria, the Est Est Est! The wines from Occhipinti are nothing like that though, they are wild and fascinating and very very good. The Alea Viva is a rare example of dry Aleatico, a wine that is usually sweet and I prefer it this way!

Andrea works essentially with Aleatico di Gradoli (the local aleatico, style wise a bit more on the delicacy and spiciness than Massa Vecchia) and with Grechetto Rosso (called Grechetto due to proximity with Umbria, but part of the Sangiovese family, although it tastes completely different than any Sangiovese I ever tried). These are real wines of terroir, pure and natural. Andrea fell in love with the vineyards of Gradoli while he was at the Agrarian University of Tuscia, so much so that they became the subject of his master’s thesis in 2004. He was able to rent and purchase 4 hectares of vineyards planted in the 1990’s. They are set at 450 metres above sea level on the volcanic slopes of Bolsena Lake, the biggest volcanic lake in Europe. Situated just one hour north of Rome, the lake provides a unique micro climate that together with the particular terroir and Andrea’s objective to preserve and promote the local indigenous varietals, Aleatico and Grechetto Rosso, produce wines with the flavour of tradition and the effervescence of innovation.

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