Appellation: Langhe Nebbiolo DOC
Grape varieties: 94% Nebbiolo, 6% Barbera
When the Gaja family decided in 1961 to only bottle only estate-grown grapes, it was a bold and difficult move. It helped 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.
While Barolo enjoyed a degree of international renown at this time, Barbaresco was still virtually unknown to connoisseurs. Yet GAJA was convinced that Barbaresco would emerge as one of the great appellations of the world, and so the family cut ties with the neighboring Barolo region.
Fast forward to 1988,when the GAJA winery purchased a 30-acre farm in Serralunga d’Alba and rechristened it Sperss. The term is affectionately used to denote nostalgia for precious things lost with time — an homage to the origins of the winery and the generations who built it.
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 the greatest expressions of Barolo.
Like the winery’s vineyard-designated wines, Sperss was reclassified from Barolo DOCG to Langhe Nebbiolo DOC in 2000 with the 1996 vintage.
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.