My story

I have never wanted to play by “the rules of the game”, an attitude which, if you believe in genetics, could be considered hereditary.

My father Paolo Spinola left Genova at a young age to start his career as a film director in Rome. I inhabited the world of cinema of my father and, in 1975, witnessed his passage from the filmmaking business to the winemaking one.

My grandfather had a large farming estate in the Gavi area, surrounding the Tassarolo Castle, a surviving fragment of the former state of Spinolino. He delighted in playing the role of the ‘landlord’, living at the pace of a bygone era.

In the mid-1970s my father and my uncle took over the farming and winemaking part, speeding things up a bit. In those days we used the big cellar under the Castle, a magical place with huge oak barrels, crevices covered with moss and a humid, uneven floor.

I spent most of my time wandering around in the dark with a torch in my hand, observing the ceaseless repair works performed on the wooden staves of the giant oak barrels.
The garden and park of the Castle were my favourite places to observe, and experiment with, nature.

One of my ancestors, Massimiliano Spinola (1780-1857), had been a famous entomologist. His collection of insects and butterflies was kept in the tower of the castle. That was my point of attraction. I recently discovered that he died on the same day that I was born: 12 November.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved Nature, animals and insects. I have felt like I am part of the whole, instead of going against it. I reunited with Nature here in the winery, when I moved back to Tassarolo from London in 2005.

After graduating from university, I had travelled the world, worked in art and lived in New York and London, but I had never broken my bond with the winery. And when I arrived here with my son of a few months I instantly understood that the winery could become my next “art work” through which to express my values and ideals. Here I could transform life into my own creation. The conversion to biodynamic agriculture felt like a mandatory step, one year after my arrival.

The greatest challenge was the human one: to create a team and make it work together in harmony, integrate and manage it.People, the most valuable asset, never just come together by chance.

I have had some very special people by my side along the way, who believed in what I was doing. But in particular, two people have been most influential: Bonifacio Spinola, a distant relative from the branch of the Spinola family in Rome, but who is actually closer to me than a brother and who became my associate with whom I work hand in hand and Miri Velli, a strict but fair counsellor who runs the cellar and the vineyards and has put his heart and soul into the winery.