Formed out of the merger of two properties – that of the Spinozzi family of feudal origins and that of the Cerulli Irelli family, traditionally merchants – the Cerulli Spinozzi agricultural estate as it is today dates from the beginning of the 1900’s.
The current winery was built in 2003 by the brothers Francesco and Vincenzo Cerulli Irelli. Vincenzo is a lawyer and professor of Administrative Law at the Sapienza University of Rome, and Francesco the former president of the winery Casal Thaulero, as well as an Italian motor racing champion of 1972. Today the winery is run by Enrico, Vincenzo’s son, who has a very clear project: that of enhancing the value of the historic estate by replanting vines, aiming to produce more prestigious wines as well as maintaining and nurturing some thirty-year old vines with relatively low yields, but of very high quality. In short, a modern approach but in keeping with tradition.
One of the main assets of the company is the countryside around it. From every angle you can see the Gran Sasso Mountain, which emcompasses the southernmost glacier in Europe and which, it is said, Napoleon himself found to be a worthy place to rest: on beautiful, sunny days when there is high pressure, it almost seems as if you can touch the rocks. A few kilometers away, past the rolling hills of Teramo that lie to the west, you can reach the Adriatic coast, where in ancient times the low sandy beaches were easy landing places for pirates and fishermen, while today they welcome vacationers.
The climate and the soil
The land on which the estate lies is of alluvial origin, and in ancient times is was covered by the water of the Vomano river. It is characterized by a texture that ranges from medium-soft to clay, with a good skeleton. It is characterized mainly as alkaline and sub-alkaline reaction, with a pH ranging from 7.8 to 8.2. The presence of limestone is medium-low.
The climate is typical of that of the mid-Adriatic, with rainfall that varies between 600 and 800 mm a year. The wettest months are in November, December, March, April and May. The summer months are characterized by very little rain, usually from brief storms.
During the growing season of the plants the temperatures vary from a minimum of 7 ° – 8 ° C in the spring months, to a maximum of 35 ° – 38 ° C in the summer. The phenolic content, especially of the red grapes, is favored by the temperature difference between day and night, which can oscillate between 15 and 20 degrees.
The vineyards – 35 acres in the town of Canzano and 18 in Mosciano – are located in areas of the alluvial valley once crossed by the Vomano river. They are all south / south -east facing, which particularly favors the ripening of Montepulciano grapes, which is a late variety. The cultivation of the vines is partly through the traditional marquees, and partly the more modern style of rows: in the last fifteen years, the company has initiated a program of replanting aimed towards favoring a high investment of plants per hectare, passing from 1000 to 4000.
The predominant grape variety is Montepulciano, followed by Trebbiano, Pecorino, Sangiovese and Chardonnay. The harvesting of the grapes, which is all done strictly by hand, takes place during the last week of August for the Chardonnay and Pecorino and the first week of October for the Montepulciano.
For over twenty years the company has followed organic farming methods: only organic fertilizers are used, whilst copper and sulfur salts are employed as pesticides. The various forms of mold are controlled by limiting the use of fertilizers and working on the leaf structure.
The hills of Teramo
Four valleys, the Vibrata, Salinello, Tordino, Vomano, of the Gran Sasso descend gently towards the Adriatic coast. They are valleys of alluvial origin traversed in ancient times by prehistoric rivers, which have left a clay soil, rich in small stones and sand.
The imposing shadow of the mountain giant and the proximity to the Adriatic Sea provides an ideal microclimate for the health and the ripening of the grapes. A constant breeze and a wide temperature range, combined with the ancient knowledge of Teramo farmers, have made this area a highly popular place for winegrowing.
These are the Teramo Hills, the only area given the status of Controlled Designation of Origin for the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine. A guarantee of excellence.
Today the Cerulli Spinozzi estate is a reference point for those who want to get to know and appreciate the finest wines of Abruzzo.