Marco Speri is the fifth generation of one of the most important winemaking families in Valpolicella. His father, Benedetto, perfected some of the first Amarones: a magnificent red wine made with dried grapes, and one of the finest wines in Italy. Marco followed in his father’s footsteps at Speri winery for about 25 years. In 2008, Marco created his own brand, Secondo Marco, to make wines according to his own vision. Marco’s goal is to make elegant, food-friendly wines by focusing on higher acidity, lower alcohol, and less residual sugar. By emphasizing his concept of “drinkability,” or creating softer wines that are not harsh and high in alcohol, the end result is a very personal interpretation of the Valpolicella region.
Location of Vineyard
Valpolicella is a winegrowing area east of Lake Garda in the region of Veneto. Marco Speri’s 15 hectares of vineyards are located in the town of Fumane, in the heart of Valpolicella Classico appellation and are trained in a high-density pergoletta, a Y-shaped innovation to the traditional pergola system. The “old pergola has a canopy in between the vines,” says Marco, “and produced green-tasting under-ripe grapes. With the pergoletta, we get the benefit of air circulation with more sunlight and easier picking.” Marco takes a practical approach to farming in a sustainable way, weeding mechanically and keeping other treatments to a minimum.
Marco’s goal is to produce wines of balance and elegance. Corvina and Corvinone comprise the majority of the blend along small percentages of Rondinella, Oseleta, Croatina, and Pipionana. Marco makes the four traditional wines of the region: Valpolicella Classico, Ripasso, Amarone, and Recioto. For the Appassimento wines, Marco dries the grapes 100-120 days. After 15 days of pre-fermentation maceration, Marco strives for long fermentations (up to 90 days) using indigenous yeasts in cement tanks. He feels that by fermenting in cement, the wines are more likely to keep their sapidity and freshness, two essential characteristics of the Fumane region. The wines are then aged in large Slavonian oak casks.