When we decided to visit Sicily, our first thought was that a visit to long-time favourites COS was a must. We had heard that the winery also had on-site accommodation so without needing to think too much about it, we had soon booked two nights at their ‘Locanda’.
Located in Vittoria towards the south-eastern corner of Sicily, COS has been a pioneer in quality wine production here since the early 1980s. As you drive through the region, vineyards cover the landscape in every direction however much of this fruit production, we later learn, is for table grapes. COS had greater aspirations for their fruit when they set up their winery and today the wine can be found on some of the world’s best wine lists.
Nero d’Avola and Frappato (often combining to make Sicily’s on DOCG wine ‘Cerasuolo’) are the grapes of choice here, producing medium bodied, perfumed and elegant wines when in the hands of talented winemakers. Such styles were on show when Baggio took as through the range on a cold and slightly wet evening at the cellar door in January. This came after a detailed tour of the winery and its facilities, including a fascinating look at their many and varied amphora (clay wine holding vessels) in which many of COS’s wines are fermented and aged. It is these that have helped create a ‘house style’ for COS and along with biodynamic farming practices, has set the producer up as a forerunner in the so-called natural wine movement (a term we are not so fond of) and a practice that they became experts in long before the trend caught on globally.
The hospitality shown to us by COS was incredible and felt extra special as we were the only ones staying on the property at the time (it is usually shut through the winter months). The big roaring fire in the breakfast room accompanied by locally made bread, cured meats and delicious coffee really set up our days nicely before setting out to explore other nearby wineries and restaurants. Certainly a visit we would highly recommend for anyone visiting Sicily.