For every Italian wine story that we have recounted that started due to the desire of one individual to do something new, or to return a region to its past glory, there are many more where family plays an integral role to a company’s success.
It never ceases to amaze us how the “gene” for Italian wine production, if you can call it that, seems to get passed through the generations. It’s also remarkable just how many children of great Italian winemakers want to follow on in their parents’ footsteps, or help them to achieve the dreams that they never quite reached on their own.
Such is the case with the company that we’ll be shining a spotlight on today. While La Spinetta has only existed since the 1970s, it has a history with wine that stretches back much further. Let’s take a look at what makes this particular company so special, before we examine a wine that we think will knock your socks off.
As we mentioned, many people believe that the La Spinetta story only stretches back to the 1970s. However, the story actually goes back almost hundred years further, all the way to 1890.
That’s when Giovanni Rivetti made the decision to leave his home in Piedmont for the greener pastures of Argentina. He had grand visions of making wonderful wines in Argentina, so that he could return to his home in later years and do the same thing in Piedmont.
Unfortunately, Giovanni was unable to achieve his dream, but his son Giuseppe took the reins from his father. After marrying his wife Lidia, Giuseppe was able to purchase several vineyards and began making wine, learning more and more about the trade with each passing year.
That brings us to 1977, when Giuseppe, now an elder statesman of the wine industry in his own right, made the decision to purchase a residence name La Spinetta, which literally translates to “top of the hill”. Based in Castagnole Lanze, which is well known for the quality of its Moscato d’Asti, the family decided to set their sights on making a change. In particular, the Rivetti’s wanted to transform Moscato d’Asti from the simple dessert wine that it was known as at the time, into a truly great Italian wine that could stand up against any that the country has to offer.
To do this, they need to dedicate themselves to Moscato wines, and that’s exactly what they did. La Spinetta became the home of Bricco Quaglia and Biancospino, which were the regions first ever single vineyard Moscatos. The future was looking bright, but the best was yet to come.
After eight years, the company decided that the time was ripe to dip its toes into the red wine industry as well. That led to the introduction of its wonderful Barbera Ca di Pian, which was just the first in what has been a cavalcade of extraordinary red wines that have followed. By this time, Giuseppe had ended his work with the company, with his sons Carlo, Bruno and Giorgio taking on the lead roles. In honour of their father, the brothers created a new red wine that they dubbed “Pin”, which was the affectionate nickname that Giuseppe had carried for so many years.
The company followed this up with a host of new red wines during the course of the 1990s, mostly centred around the Barbera and Barbaresco DOCs.
In short, the company has grown from being drive by its desire to produce great Moscato, to becoming one of the most versatile producers in the Italian wine industry.
As the millennium approached, La Spinetta’s ambitions grew even larger. They had long held a desire to introduce Barolo into their wine list, and the year 2000 saw this dream become a reality. New vineyards were purchased, and the company also developed a band new cellar to help it to deal with ever increasing demand and production.
Today, the company exists far outside of the borders of the Piedmont region that Giovanni always hoped to return to one day. While they still call that region home, the company now owns vineyards in Tuscany, which it has used to bring Sangiovese, Chianti, and a host of other red wines onto its roster.
Even as recently as 2011, the company has been expanding. A new winery was purchased which allowed La Spinetta to add Metodo Classico to its roster.
So where do they stand today. It all started with the dreams of a Piedmont man who decided to move to Argentina in an effort to build his fortune. Though he never quite achieved the dream that he had hoped for, his family made certain that his aspirations would not be in vein. Giuseppe, and now his three sons, have worked hard to build La Spinetta into one of the most impressive Italian wine companies. We await with baited breath to see what their next move will be.
Of course, we must also remember the present, and the wonderful wines the company produces today. It’s so hard to choose one out of the company’s massive portfolio, but we believe that this wine has everything needed for you to fall in love with it.
How could it be anything other than the wine that the three brothers named affectionately after their father? La Spinetta Pin has been a great wine for decades, but the 2012 vintage is something truly special.
The dark red colouring offers a sense of mystery and wonder to the wine, which is reinforced by the remarkably complex and exotic bouquet. Take some time to explore the scents and you’ll notice that black cherry, plums, and blackcurrants all make themselves known. That’s to say nothing about the interesting spiciness and smokiness that the wine offers up.
Upon tasting, you’ll be overwhelmed by a comforting warmness that you won’t want to stop. There’s a healthy alcohol content, and the wine has a remarkably sweet finish that will tempt you in for one more sip every single time.