La Spia is a family-owned wine estate, located in the Alpine valley of Valtellina, Northern Lombardy. Forming part of the border between Italy and Switzerland, Valtellina is a stunningly beautiful area, hosting dramatic landscapes, with impossibly steep terraced vineyards planted across the mountain sides. A lesser-known denomination, within and outside of Italy, where around 80% of the wine is consumed locally.
The Rigamonti family purchased La Spia, an area of 0.6 hectares, in 1962 and in following with local tradition, planted the estate with Chiavennasca vines. Chiavennasca is a clone of Nebbiolo found in the Valtellina, which has been cultivated here for over 500 years. Adapting to the conditions of the area, in comparison to its Langhe relative it is quite different in style. Cooler temperatures and higher elevations make for lighter Nebbiolo-based wines, less tannic, which develop these earthy, rustic tones from the rocky, sandy, clay soils. In short rows, on steep terraces, with an arched variant of the Guyot technique, the vines are trained using these traditional methods which make it possible to grow grapes in such a precipitous area. La Spia hand-harvest all their grapes to ensure optimal quality of fruit is selected and the grapes are treated with the highest degree of care.
Until 2006 the family only produced wine for personal consumption so 2006 was La Spia's first official vintage, starting only with their Valtellina Superiore Riserva DOCG, followed by the 2008 Valtellina Superiore Riserva DOCG, and the 2010 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva DOCG. Today, with the help of their current winemaker, Emil Galimberti, they have expanded to 6 hectares, including other local grape varieties, but with Valetellina Superiore remaining the focus of their production. Sassella is the subzone of Valtellina in which the winery is located and this DOCG is where some of the top Valtellina wines come from. Made from a blend of their best grapes from selected parcels, and a meticulous winemaking process following the strict rules provided for the DOCG, La Spia's Sassella is complex and richer in character, whilst maintaining the elegant core ethereal lift which is typical of Valtellina.
Mountainous Nebbiolo beautifully crafted by this artisan winery, La Spia’s wines are pure, fresh, and expressive. An important Italian denomination where Chiavennasca reigns supreme!