For almost forty years Paolo De Marchi has produced one of Italy's greatest wines, the benchmark Tuscan Sangiovese "Cepparello." Yet, since the 1970s, he has dreamt of revitalising a small estate owned by his family in the foothills of the Alps of Northern Piemonte, his childhood home. Established in the 19th century in the village of Lessona, near Biella, Proprietà Sperino passed into the De Marchi family through their relative, Felice Sperino, a passionate viticulturist and professor from Turin. The last vintage had been made in 1952. In 1999, Paolo and his elder son, Luca, began replanting the vineyards and renovating the winery, giving new life to the estate and stimulating a renaissance of viticulture in this historic wine-growing area in what may be one of the most important wine restoration projects in Italy today.
The majority of Proprietà Sperino’s 8.5 hectares of vineyards sit on the sun-drenched, sub-alpine plateau of Orolungo in the historic district of Ori (meaning ‘gold’ in Italian), so-called for its yellow, mineral- rich sands. Grown without the use of herbicides or chemical fertilizers, the grapes are hand-harvested, hand-sorted, and fermented in open wooden vats in the centuries-old, gravity-fed cellar within the castle of Lessona. The resulting wine is consistently superb, and uniquely expresses the nobility of the Nebbiolo grape for which Piedmont is famed - light in colour yet intense, scented and long.