In recent months, we have been placing more of a focus on wine companies that are perhaps a little newer to the industry that many, barring the odd exception, as we believe that it is important to give great winemakers their due, regardless of if they have been in the industry for one year or a hundred.
This week, we have decided to take a look at a company for which history and tradition is extremely important. This company has been one of the most prominent winemakers in Italy since the nineteenth century and is still going just as strong today because of the dedication of a family with a singular vision to create truly astounding wines that represent the area of Valpolicella like few others can.
With that in mind, this week we will be taking a look at the Speri family and one of the wines that the company produces that is sure to knock the socks off anybody who has the privilege of tasting it.
The story of the Speri family begins during the first half of the nineteenth century, in a few hectares of land next to the family home that was used for the growing of the grapes that would later go on to be used in the very first bottles of commercially available Speri. That plot of land gave the family the opportunity to learn everything that it needed to know about viticulture and the unique terroir of the Valpolicella region, ensuring that the expansion that came later would prove as successful as the family hoped that it would be.
As one of the most historic families in Valpolicella, Speri recognized early on that the company had a duty to represent the region in the best possible way with the wines that the company produced. Having such intimate links with a region allows for the creation of bonds of respect that make winemakers keen to make sure that they express everything that makes them, and by extension their wines, what they are.
The firm dedicated itself to achieving quality in everything that it did and, as importantly, being consistent in the delivery of that quality to the people who matter the most – the wine drinking public.
In doing so the company has become an authority on the wines in the Valpolicella region because of the respect that it pays to the land that has allowed the company to thrive in the first place. The Speri family recognizes that the grapes that they produce not only form the basis of the wines that they provide to the people, but that they also give the wine its essence and soul, that unmistakable character that tells the drinker exactly where the wine has come from and just how much effort has gone in to its creation.
The company prides itself on adapting to the rhythms of nature, making sure that every method that they use to grow grapes or create their wines is completely in-tune with the land that the Speri family respects so much. This is a concept that has been passed down through the ages and is as important to the family now, in its seventh generation of winemakers, as it was way back when the company was first founded.
They recognize that cultivating the land is an ancient tradition that has proven important to so many people since the even the Roman era. They understand the importance of respecting this history of agriculture and viticulture that acts as the backbone of Italy and, on a more local level, the Valpolicella region. In doing so, the company ensures that the old values endure, even as the modern methods change, which has resulted in the Speri family working their land with pride and an eye towards tradition to create wines that represent the region, particularly the Valpolicella classica zone, through which the company hopes to express the characteristics that have made the wines that come from this region so well-respected over the years.
A lot has happened since those early years, nearly two centuries ago, when the Speri family first started using the couple of hectares of land attached to the family home to start growing grapes with the aim of producing exceptional wines. The company has grown enormously in the years that have followed, not least because of the immense amount of respect that the family has for the region.
Today, Speri has invested in a range of new qualities in some of the prime locations in the Valpolicella Classica region, offering them an astonishing sixty hectares of land to call their own. Though the company has grown so massively over the years, two things remain the same. The first is that it is still in the hands of the same family that started it so many years ago and the second is the dedication to quality that the company has always aimed to embody.
With all of that in mind, let’s introduce you to a wine that is sure to astound and amaze in equal measure.
One of the truly great Amarone wines, despite facing stiff competition from a number of other producers in the region, the Speri Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Sant’Urbano 2011 is a superb example of the subtleties that are noticeable in all of the great Speri wines and the dedication to tradition that runs through the company.
With a stunning ruby red colouring which is complemented by a complex and well-balanced aroma and taste that is startling rich while being surprisingly accessible all at the same time, this wine is the result of a careful selection process that favours the best grapes grown in the company’s Mount St. Urban Vineyard.
Dried for an extended period of at least three months, these grapes build the basis of a wine that offers everything that the family hopes to represent through its work. It is at once soft and subtle, while also challenging and intense, with a great structure that is sure to leave you pining for more long after the last drop in the bottle has been consumed.