`Uvaggio` Coste della Sesia Rosso, Proprietà Sperino 2019

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'Uvaggio' Coste della Sesia Rosso, Proprietà Sperino 2019

This splendid 7.7 hectare hillside estate is situated in the small town of Lessona, near Biella in northern Piemonte. Paolo De Marchi inherited Proprietà Sperino from his grandfather, Felice Sperino, a passionate viticulturist and professor in Turin. Since the 1970s, Paolo has dreamed of revitalising the Sperino estate, a dream that has come to fruition with the help of his elder son, Luca, who now runs the estate and makes the wines with Paolo's guidance.

Paolo de Marchi was best known, of course, as the owner of the renowned Chianti Classico estate Isole e Olena until its very recent sale, but his ancestral property far to the north has nothing in common with the Tuscan winery except, Luca remarks, that each has to work with a difficult grape variety: Sangiovese at Isole e Olena and Nebbiolo at Proprieta Sperino.

In the 19th century, Alto Piemonte was one of Italy’s largest wine regions with 40,000 hectares under vine. But frequent hailstorms and the growing industrialisation of the area – its pure water made it ideal for textile production – led to a dramatic decline and within a few years, only 300 hectares remained under cultivation.

Uvaggio' means grape variety in Italian and this celebrates the varieties of Lessona. Nebbiolo's characteristic tannins and acidity are tempered and complemented by the indigenous Vespolina and Croatina grapes.