Proprietà Sperino is the realization of a long-term dream: to restore the important tradition of Lessona wines by recovering the historic vineyards and cellars and produce a wine with the greatest respect for local tradition.
Originally a property of the Sperino family, the estate was passed down to the De Marchi family, collateral relatives of the Sperinos, who had left no direct heirs. In the ‘1970's, Paolo De Marchi moved to Tuscany where he founded Isole & Olena, which played a leading role in the rebirth of Chianti Classico. In 1999, Paolo and son Luca returned to Piemonte and took the reins of the historic family estate, at the Castle of Lessona in Via Sperino.
|APPELLATION(S)||Coste della Sesia DOC, Lessona DOC, Piemonte DOC|
|PROPRIETORS||Luca De Marchi|
|WINEMAKER||Paolo e Luca De Marchi|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
The castle’s historic cellars have been refurbished exactly as they were designed to work entirely by gravity. Vinification and fermenting happens in broad and shallow completely open wooden tanks. Once harvested, the baskets of grapes are transported by a conveyor to the first floor of the cellar for hand selection on the sorting table that leads directly to the de-stemmer. The grapes then fall through the same openings in the floor already in use two centuries earlier, into the wooden tanks on the ground floor, where they macerate for over a month.
The wine matures in wood, regularly tasted and cared for, to then be bottled for further ageing. Like the grand noble wines of the world, the wines of Lessona made by Proprietà Sperino find their strength in the oxidative aging given by wood and not in their potency.
Proprietà Sperino lies in the Castello quarter of the village of Lessona (Biella), among the foothills of the North Piedmont Alps. The whole area is a district with a long tradition of wine growing: at its height in the late eighteen-hundreds, the area covered by vineyards amounted to over forty-thousand hectares, but later on the difficulty of cultivating the district and the attraction of the fashion industry in Biella and nearby Milan, Turin and Switzerland led to their gradual abandon. Today, the vines are almost totally submerged by woods, and reconstruction is long and laborious, but the climatic peculiarities of Lessona have always given the Nebbiolo grape (locally known as ‘Spanna’), qualitative characteristics so unique as to make every effort worthwhile.
Proprietà Sperino now counts eight hectares of vines, at the foot of Monte Rosa. Six are in Lessona, split between the Belvedere, Ormeggio, Castagnola, Rava and Covà vineyards. The other two and a half make up the Madonna degli Angeli vineyard around the hamlet of Forte, in Bramaterra country. Most of the vines are in the historic district of Ori (meaning ‘gold’ in Italian), so-called for its yellow bright and deep marine sands characterizing the soil on the sun drenched pre-alpine plateau of Orolungo.
The vineyards have never seen herbicides or chemical fertilizers: only the traditional coverage with copper and sulfate. All the harvesting is by hand, in several passages to assure that each vine has the perfect quality of grapes for each wine.