|Valpolicella Classico is a hilly nook within northern Italy’s Veneto region, covering one fifth of the entire Valpolicella DOC and corresponding to just five communes. Wedged between the Adige River and the Alps mountain range, it constitutes the appellation’s historical core: select, elevated terrain on the Alpine foothills, enjoying a temperate climate you would not expect at this northerly latitude. The Speri’s presence in this heartland of fine winemaking goes back to 1874, though the original homestead and cellars are even older, built in 1580.
The Speri family has always put the vineyard first, and through the years, purchased over 124 acres in the finest Classico districts: Fumane, Negrar, and San Pietro in Cariano. These are divided into distinct crus comprising La Roverina (24 acres), Sant’Urbano (50 acres), and more recently, La Roggia (a little over 24 acres). In spite of size and scope, the Speris personally deal with every detail: every grape going into their wines is estate-owned and estate- grown, personally sculpted by the Speris with just as much pride in the craft of viniculture, the manual, hard-working side to it, as in its art. Throughout the property, the native vines of Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Corvinone, Molinara, and others are planted with a much higher density than the appellation’s average. This naturally means they yield small crops of excellent concentration, fine-tuned in the state-of-the-art new winery that was completed in 2002.
The four Speri brothers are a shining example of the values and strengths, of a timeless culture, rooted in the family and the soil. The fourth generation invested heavily in clonal selection, state-of-the-art equipment, and ever-higher quality criteria. These are watershed years, when the brothers have decided to vinify each vineyard individually for all wines and not just Amarone. Carlo Speri will tell you that the vineyard has always been foremost in the Speri philosophy: “the local heritage in terms of terroir is so exceptional, we have always and exclusively grown native Valpolicella clones. We believe that these alone constitute the apellation’s most authentic expression. Our ultimate objective - a pretty ambitious one! - is that of achieving perfect harmony of the soil and its vines.”
In the words of one of the Speri brothers, Carlo (P.R./administration), “The Speris are a clan.” He is flanked by vineyard manager Gianpietro, winemaker Alberto, marketing manager Gianpaolo, and the ever present young Luca and Chiara, Carlo’s son and daughter.