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Sperss is a term affectionately used to denote nostalgia for precious things lost with time - a homage to the origins of the winery and the generations who built it. When the Gaja family decided to stop acquiring fruit from the other growers and bottle only estate-grown grapes, in 1961, it was a bold and difficult move. It would help to ensure a high standard of quality, but it also meant that for the first time in the winery's history, it would not be able to produce a Barolo. In 1988, nearly three decades after that fateful decision was made, the GAJA winery purchased a 30-acre farm in Serralunga d'Alba and rechristened it Sperss.
Lying on the eastern side of the appellation, where the appellation's oldest subsoils (dating back to the Helvetian era), Serralunga d'Alba produces what many consider to be one of the greatest expressions of Barolo. Tar, rose petal, and earth are the classic flavors of Serralunga that define this coveted and highly collectible expression of Nebbiolo. The GAJA winery also produces a distillate from the pomace of this wine, Grappa Sperss.
Barbaresco Angelo Gaja
The veritable king of neighbouring village Barbaresco, Angelo Gaja, is a man who has undeniably done the most for the international renown of Piedmont wines. Largely due to his efforts, the world knows that Italy produces high quality and high priced wines. A colourful and ebullient personality, Gaja is a third-generation winemaker, but before his arrival, the house of Gaja was just another small-scale producer among many. Gaja recalls the early days:
–The land in Barbaresco was as good as free. My grandfather even got into buying land. My father, Giovanni Gaja, knew the terroir in Barbaresco, so he knew exactly where to buy the best plots and best grapes. First vintage of Barbaresco was produced by Giovanni Gaja, the founder, in 1859.
If knowledge of terroir is the domain of ancestors, the key to Angelo Gaja’s success is above all marketing savvy. He has studied both winemaking and business. Combined with his studies abroad, most notably in France, these paved Barbaresco’s road to world success. Gaja’s natural charisma, arrogance and the sheer volume and force of his opinions have made him
The Gaja Winery was founded by Giovanni Gaja in 1859 and has been owned and operated by four generations of the Gaja family. Giovanni Gaja was the great-grandfather of Angelo Gaja, the Winery's current owner.
Angelo Gaja took over the family business in 1970 and, as he says:
–The challenge was to maintain the basic power and depth of Nebbiolo while polishing the wines to give them richer colour, fuller fruit, better balance and a more refined style."
Vineyard soil: calcareous marls (white terrains)
Grape varieties: 100% Nebbiolo
Winemaking: fermentation with the skins occurs in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures for three weeks.
Ageing: the wine is aged in barriques for twelve months and then in large oak casks for an additional twelve months.
Via Torino 36, 12050 Barbaresco
Tel. +39 0173 635255
Fax +39 0173 635256