The name Valpolicella contains the Italian word for “valley.” The Valpolicella appellation, however, is not so much a single valley as a number of small valleys fanning out towards the hills behind Verona. Its wonderful climate, abundant sources of water and gently rolling landscape have made this a densely inhabited territory throughout the centuries. The Classico area of the Valpolicella appellation’s historic core covers a mere fifth of the DOC’s total territory. It enjoys excellent, elevated terrain in the Alpine foothills and a moderate climate you would not expect at this northerly latitude. The Speri family’s presence in the heart of this fine winemaking territory goes back to 1874. Every one of the Speri vineyards is in the Classico area and totals 60 hectares (148 acres), in the finest districts: Fumane, Negrar, and San Pietro in Cariano. The Speri family personally manages every detail. Every grape that goes into their wines is estate-grown and personally cultivated by the Speri family with just as much pride in the craft of viniculture – the hands-on, hard-working side of it – as the art of it. In the 1960- 70s, the fifth generation invested heavily in clonal selection, state-of-the-art equipment, and increasingly higher quality criteria. These were crucial years for the Speri family, when in-depth research came to a head and the brothers decided to vinify each vineyard’s harvest individually for all wines and not just Amarone. The vineyards themselves are divided into distinct crus: La Roverina, Sant’Urbano and La Roggia. Carlo Speri will tell you that the vineyards have always been the foremost focus of the Speri philosophy: “the local heritage in terms of terroir is exceptional and we have always and exclusively grown native Valpolicella clones. We believe that these alone constitute the appellation’s most authentic expression. Our ultimate objective – a pretty ambitious one – is that of achieving perfect harmony between the soil and its vines.”
Speri has also been certified organic since 2015, the most important in the Valpolicella area. Their intent is to encourage extreme natural balance of the agro-ecosystem, through practices based on a strong knowledge of ecology, plant physiology, biochemistry and ethology of insects.