Castello di Spessa
Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
The origins of the Castle of Spessa date back to the 13th century but many records show an earlier date going back to the 3rd century A.D. of a primitive Roman defensive settlement. For centuries the manor was the residence of some Friulian noble families, such as the Durnberg, Rassauer and Della Torre Valsassina families, claiming to be descendants of Charlemagne and who remained the owners for over 300 years. In 1773 it was count Luigi Torriani who welcomed Giacomo Casanova to Spessa. Many other illustrious people and artists have been guests of the manor, among which include Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart’s famous librettist, Emanuele Filiberto d’Aosta and Mussolini. Since 1987, the Pali family, owners to this day, have been maintaining the site’s traditional hospitality by giving new life to the manor house and turning it into the heart of the Castle of Spessa Resort hotel complex, including an 18-hole golf course, a winery, a hotel and two gourmet restaurants.
The Castle of Spessa Winery is located in Capriva del Friuli (province of Gorizia), in one of the finest Italian wine areas: the Collio hills that slope towards the fertile plane furrowed by the Isonzo river. The vineyards cover 28 hectares in the DOC Collio appelation and 55 hectares in the DOC Isonzo. Due to the closeness of the Adriatic Sea, about 30 km away, and the protection of the mountains, the Pre Julian Alps, the climate here is ideal for grape growing. With mild winters and delicate and mild summers, characterized by important temperature fluctuations between night and day, this area is excellent for maintaining the aromas and flavors of the grapes at their very best.
Since ancient times these environmental factors have enhanced viticulture in this small paradise of gentle slopes in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Moreover, the soil of Collio is formed by layers of marl and sandstone that give the wines (above all the whites, for which the area is internationally renowned) a unique mineral character and an excellent balance between freshness, smoothness and structure, thus helping the wines to age well for a long time. The spectacular ageing cellars of the Castle of Spessa have been hollowed out on two levels beneath the manor; the first and the most ancient cellar dates back to the Medieval period, and the second, on the second level at 18 meters deep, was obtained from a military bunker in 1939.