COCCI GRIFONI, San Savino di Ripatransone

Located in the heart of the historic, rugged, mountainous Ascoli Piceno region, there’s no denying that this is an important estate.  Established in 1970 by Guido Cocci Grifoni & Diana Marchetti, and now operated by their daughters Marilena & Paola (with their mother’s input), the estate totals 80 ha, 50 ha of which are vineyard.  The first parcel, Vigneti San Basso, was purchased in 1964. 

Cocci Grifoni was the first estate to bottle Rosso Piceno Superiore (1969 vintage), but their defining innovations resulted from Guido’s ongoing research into indigenous grapevines - culminating in 2001 with ‘Offida Pecorino’ being elevated to DOC status, and finally DOCG in 2011 — a direct result of his work to save this ancient cultivar from extinction.  In fact, the 2 ha Pecorino ‘mother vineyard’, planted in 1983, is at the Cocci Grifoni estate, and from here, all Pecorino in Abruzzo and Marche are ultimately derived.

Another endangered local variety, Passerina, was also recovered by Cocci Grifoni, and found to produce elegant sparkling, still and sweet wines.  Offida Passerina Spumante has also been elevated to DOC status in recognition of Guido’s singular efforts.

Without a doubt, Pecorino is the estate’s signature wine – Colle Vecchio being “the most classical Pecorino di Offida” according to Gambero Rosso, and capable of ageing 20 years — a remarkably complex, full-bodied, absolutely unique white wine.

While only in it’s second generation, the historic importance of Cocci Grifoni is significant.  This is an excellent source for utterly distinctive, estate-grown, terroir-driven wines.