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Elio Altare

In 1948 Giuseppe Altare bought a 5 hectare farm in La Morra in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy which at that time was under vine with Nebbiolo, Barbera and Docetto, as well as peach, hazelnut and apple trees. Giuseppe's son Giovanni continued the business, which was giving better profits from the fruit trees than the vineyards. His son Elio decided to learn more about winemaking by travelling abroad and his first trip to Burgundy in 1976 was a complete revelation and inspiration. On returning home he knew that some radical changes needed to be made. He took a chainsaw to the fruit trees and chopped up the big old wooden tanks in the cellar for firewood, installing his first brand new barrique, but his father didn't understand these profound measures, and their relationship suffered to such an extent that when he died in 1985 he disinherited Elio. Luckily Elio was able to buy back the property from his siblings, and it continues to be family run today, with Elio's oldest daughter Sylvia joining him in 2000. 10 hectares of vineyards are now managed, planted with 40% Nebbiolo, 25% Barbera, 25% Dolcetto, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the remaining percentage with other red varietals. The vineyards sites cover some of the best locations in Piedmont, including the splendid Arborina and Cerretta vineyards, and the legendary Cannubi Cru Vineyard. Elio Altare take an organic approach in the vineyards and a minimal intervention approach in the winery, only using native yeasts to ferment, and they do not fine or clarify their wines. Elio was one of the so called ”Barolo Boys” who started a revolution to innovate the Piedmont region, by introducing modern cellar techniques, shorter fermentation times and ageing in French barriques instead of the traditional Botti, and Barolo was transformed. Elio dared to be different, and his pioneering efforts have been rewarded; his estate is one of the most renowned in Piedmont and he is considered to be one of the finest producers of Barolo in the region. Elio is quite simply a brilliant winemaker and his elegant, silky-textured wines with unmatched concentration and depth are ultimate superstars of Piedmont!

elioaltare.com