Three friends founded Azienda Agricola COS, in 1980: Giambattista Cilia, Cirino Strano and Giusto Occhipinti. The acronym of their last names is where the name for the winery – COS – comes from. On a shoestring budget, the three friends vinified grapes from their parents’ vineyards. In 1980, they were the youngest wine producers in Italy. They received an old family winery from Giambattista Cilia’s father Giuseppe Cilia and the nearby vineyard of bush trained vines, a total of 3.60.40 hectares in the famed town of Bastonaca. On October 5, 1980 they harvested their first vintage and made 1,470 bottles. COS began its adventure that would one day lead to the transformation of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
The winery follows the principles of biodynamic faming in order to help the vines find and maintain a balance with nature in order to be able to express their true character and that of their terroir. For vinification, they decided to use terracotta vases that left no traces or aromas on the wine but were completely neutral vessels. In 2000, Pithos was born, a Cerasuolo di Vittoria that ferments and ages in amphora. They finished working on a building in Fontane, which in 2003 became the headquarters of the winery. In 2005, they made the first wine that bore the Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.) designation, the only one in Sicily. The harvest of 2007 saw the winery in a new location and was the beginning of use of only amphora. The winery got rid of the barrels that they had and use only 150 amphoras’, one of the largest of its kind. Today COS is associated not only with the success of Cerasuolo di Vittoria but also with rigor and quality. It’s thanks to these three friends that the region of Cerasuolo di Vittoria was reborn and the area around Vittoria is thriving with its extraordinary wines.
“Our goal isn’t to make wines that impress wine critics, but to make wine that expresses our great terroir" Occhipinti says.
Pithos Bianco is a cuvée where the grapes are macerated with the skins. The wine fermented in amphora and manages to be both supple and rounded in the mouth but at the same time grippy, spicy and herbal.