Elio Altare

Elio Altare is a giant amongst the many great winemakers that pepper the hills of Piemonte; his pioneering efforts in changing production methods to gain a more expressive and approachable style of Barolo inspired a generation of producers to follow suit and, it must be said, the results have been a huge positive for the region and its wines in general.

These days though it is his daughter Silvia who runs the estate and makes the wine (Altare himself has moved on to a projects on the Cinqueterre and in the hills making Castelmagno cheese: always wanting a new challenge according to Silvia) and it’s not being too over the top to say that she is making as good, if not better, wines than her father . 

Vineyard husbandry has always been a pivotal part of the process at Altare and a huge amount of energy and time is spent in their plots making sure the vines are healthy. To that end they employ what one could term “pragmatic organics” whereby they use only copper sulphate and cow manure on the vines and only in the most extreme cases will herbicides be used. In the cellars, the approach follows the modern textbook with controlled fermentations and aging in various sizes, origins and ages of oak. No enzymes or innoculations are done nor any other manipulations to change the nature of the wine from the specific vintage. 

The wines are some of the most successful examples of “modern classic” you will find, preserving and showcasing the vibrany and provenance of the vineyards while at the same time delivering those characteristics within limpid and supple textures. They are quite rightly regarded as one of the superstars of the Langhe. MICHAEL MCNAMARA