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Elio Altare
Although Elio Altare is best known for the superb Barolos he crafts from the Arborina and Brunate vineyards, his entire range is among the most consistently brilliant in Italy.

Elio Altare is universally acknowledged to be one of the world's greatest winemakers. Altare was a leader of the revolution in cellar and vineyard technique in the Barolo zone; among his many now-commonplace innovations were the use of rotary fermenters, a short maceration period, and the use of small barriques for aging. The resulting wines, from Dolcetto to Barbera to Barolo, are often considered to be the ultimate expressions of the soft, fragrant and lush qualities characteristic of the commune of La Morra, and today Altare is mentor to many of the younger generation of La Morra barolisti including Mauro Veglio, Mauro Molino, and the Revello brothers - his influence even extends to northern Ghemme where he lends advice to the Ioppa family.

Elio owns 5 hectares and rents four more, planted in the ratio 40 percent Nebbiolo, 30 percent Dolcetto, 25 percent Barbera and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvingon. The best of the local vineyards each comprise their own amphitheatre, south or south-east facing slopes at 280 metres above sea level on a sandy, tufaceous, marly soil. Elio Altare has vines in two of those: 1.5 ha of 50-plus year old vines in Arborina, and a small parcel in Brunate which he started renting in 1995. These vines are pruned very severely. Altare wants no more than 1.5 kilos of grapes per vine., And there are merely 5500 vines per hectare. This is the real key, Altare maintains, plus an organic approach to viticulture. "You can't make great wine without concentrated fruit."
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