Agricola Horus, Vittoria Frappato “Sole e Terra”
Agricola Horus, Vittoria Frappato “Sole e Terra”

Agricola Horus, Vittoria Frappato “Sole e Terra”

Sicily, Italy 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$29.00
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Agricola Horus, Vittoria Frappato “Sole e Terra”

After joyously consuming a profusion of “Sole e Terra” over the years, it’s time to formally ask the question that’s long been whispered throughout our office: Is it possible the greatest pound-for-pound Frappato is no longer made by the hands of Occhipinti or COS? Whether or not you have a strong opinion, one thing is certain—this is an exceptional and exceptionally affordable Sicilian red with its eye fixated on Frappato’s throne! And it all happened so quickly.

Without notice, Agricola Horus slipped onto the scene and disrupted the established order with their Certified Organic, magnificently thirst-quenching reds. Plump berries soar out of the glass, propelled by high-toned violets and smashed herbs on stone, and it finishes with a symphonic swell of acidity. Best of all, once you give this indescribably juicy and revitalizing red a slight chill, it morphs into a veritable master key on any dinner table. Roasted whole fish, various plates of pasta, grilled sausages, any style of pizza…you name it. Can you see why it’s become a main staple of my fridge for three years running? Enjoy up to a case!

Grown almost exclusively in southeastern Sicily, in the sandy clay soils around the magnificent hill town of Ragusa, Frappato is the traditional blending partner with Nero d’Avola in the wines of the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG. But in addition to being the treble to Nero d’Avola’s bass, Frappato does wonderfully on its own—to the point of taking a major star turn on its own in recent years. Like the best reds of nearby Mount Etna, 100% Frappato wines are more about brightness, freshness, and perfume than weight. The big-time Sicilian reds of a generation ago had a heavily extracted, ‘international’ sheen to them, and often incorporated international grapes to achieve that; this wine, contrarily, is crafted only from Frappato and performs like a Mediterranean answer to Cru Beaujolais. 

Agricola Horus is headquartered in the town of Acate, in Sicily’s Ragusa province—which, incidentally, is also the home of the Valle dell’Acate winery, source of my very first taste of Frappato many years ago. And it just so happens that the man who crafted today’s wine is the same one in the cellar at Valle dell’Acate so many years ago. In fact, he was among the very first to showcase it as a varietal wine, way back in 1991. Giuseppe Romano does not pose for splashy pieces in the New York Times and he isn’t active on Instagram, but he is one of the most experienced, gifted talents when it comes to Vittorian varieties Nero d’Avola and Frappato. So much so that he has earned the nickname “Mister Frappato” in Vittoria.  At Horus, Romano has teamed up with owner/farmer Rosario Giudice to create a no-expense-spared winemaker’s “dream scenario” in Acate. 

The farm itself is a Certified Organic Mediterranean paradise that cultivates grapes, almonds, and olives. Natural fertilizers are used to enrich the soil, rose bushes line each row of vines, and pest-fighting organisms are deployed throughout to protect the crop and promote biodiversity. As is typical with ‘varietal’ Frappato, they craft this gorgeous red in the most straightforward manner possible: stainless steel fermentation with wild yeasts, and no exposure to oak barrels in order to maximize the visceral red and blue fruits and seductive floral perfume. Serve in Burgundy stems at cellar temperature alongside your favorite rustic dishes from coastal Italy. Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, whole roasted Branzino, or practically any grilled sausage or bone-in protein preparation—you can’t miss with this stellar red!

Agricola Horus, Vittoria Frappato “Sole e Terra”


Northwestern Italy


Italy’s Piedmont region is really a wine “nation”unto itself, producing world-class renditions of every type of wine imaginable: red, white, sparkling, name it! However, many wine lovers fixate on the region’s most famous appellations—Barolo and Barbaresco—and the inimitable native red that powers these wines:Nebbiolo.



The area known as “Chianti” covers a major chunk of Central Tuscany, from Pisa to Florence to Siena to Arezzo—and beyond. Any wine with “Chianti” in its name is going to contain somewhere between 70% to 100% Sangiovese, and there are eight geographically specific sub-regions under the broader Chianti umbrella.

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