Azienda Agricola COS was founded by Giambattista
(Titta) Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Cirino (Rino) Strano,
three friends who wanted to recreate the work of their ancestors.
The acronym (Cilia-Occhipinti-Strano) not only represents
the company’s name, but also the beginning of a remarkable
In 1980, the trio became the youngest winemakers in Italy
when they bought Joseph Cilia’s old family winery. Located
in the historic town of Bastonaca, the vineyard measured just
over a mere three hectares. Their first harvest on October
5 produced only 1470 bottles; nevertheless, this marked the
beginning of their adventures and the radical restructuring
of the region of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
The three partners completed their studies between 1983 and
1985. Rino, however, decided to devote himself to his field
of medicine and sold his shares to his sister, Giuseppina
(Pinuccia). The new trio then purchased la Villa Fontane in
1991, the Moltisanti family’s property in the Fontane-Baucina
district, and new vines were planted on the eight hectares.
In 1995, Pinuccia sold her shares to Titta and Giusto. The
remaining two friends continued to grow the estate as they
acquired new and valuable lands close by.
In their quest to interpret the unique terroir
of Vittoria, the estate decided to adopt the principles of
biodynamic culture. This would help them find and maintain
a harmonious balance with nature, as well as craft wines that
are as representative as possible of their time and place.
Fascinated by ancient cellar practices, COS decided to work
with amphoras, clay jars that were used by the ancient Greeks.
The first shipment came from Spain in September 2000, and
thus, Pithos was born and a new COS identity was created.
The Pithos cuvée is fermented and aged solely in the
amphoras which allow the grapes to express themselves naturally
in their evolution towards becoming wine.
Once the restoration of the Fontane building
was completed in 2003, the head office was moved and the business
resort, the Locanda COS, opened for COS’s friends around
the world. The company continued its growth when they purchased
the 20 hectares of land adjacent to la Villa Fontane in 2005
that included an extraordinary wine cellar dating back to
the nineteenth century.
The two architects began an immediate renovation of the
building and new winery. That year also marked the first harvest
of Cerasuolo di Vittoria with the DOCG designation (Denominazione
di Origine Controllata e Garantita), the only region permitted
to have this designation in Sicily.
2007 was the first vintage bottled in the new cellar. The
old oak barrels were replaced by 150 amphoras, one of the
largest collections in the world, and they began making Pithos
Bianco with the local Grecanico grape.
Today, COS is synonymous with Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Their
love of the region and its singular terroir produces some
of the finest wines Italy has to offer.