BAROLO DOCG ELIO ALTARE 2011
Grandpa Giuseppe came to la Morra in 1948.
The Altare family was originally from the town of Dogliani before buying the farm in La Morra. Back then, the estate covered 5 hectares of nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto vineyards, along with some peach, hazelnut and apple trees. Those were times when orchards gave higher yields and more profits than vineyards.
Back then it wasn’t easy, due to economic crisis that lasted for years. Elio, along with other friends, decided to learn more about winemaking so he shoseto travel beyond the borders of Piemonte. Their first trip to Burgundy, in January 1976, was a revelation. For this reasons when Elio got back home he knew there were major changes to be made.
He wasn’t afraid: he grabbed a chainsaw as if it were a sword, and first he cut down the fruit trees in the orchard, then he chopped up the big old wooden tanks in the cellar into firewood. In this way, he made room for his first brand-new barrique.
His father Giovanni didn’t understand him. His son’s radical decisions were too far from his way of thinking. Being from an older generation and poorer times, he was not able to accept what he thought was an offense against common sense and tradition, and because of their different opinions, Giovanni and Elio’s relationship fell into silence. He died in 1985 and tragically disinherited Elio.
Elio continued to work while he bought back the winery and vineyards from his siblings.
Elio stood firm then and still does today. His decisions marked a radical change of direction and give a different interpretation to the family’s wine, favouring elegance, finesse, and balance, following a strict regime in the vineyards, and adopting new vinification and aging techniques in the cellar.
The farm is still family-managed today. Under Elio’ s supervision, we farm 10 hectares with an average production of 70,000 bottles.
In 2003, Silvia – Elio’s oldest daughter – began working beside him, while Elena, his younger daughter, moved to Germany, where she runs a wine importing company.
PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE AND WORK
“Our wines are simple and natural, and we would like you to know that:
- vineyards are cultivated without the use of any chemicals or pesticides (unless it’s strictly necessary) or any other substance that might interfere with the cycle of the vine or of the grapes growing.
- We only use copper and copper sulphate, and we fertilize with organic cow manure.
- During the alcoholic fermentation we don’t inoculate with yeast, we only use our indigenous yeasts, to this follows a natural malolactic fermentation.
- We don’t filter or clarify the wine.
- We don’t use any substance that could modify the colour or the structure of the wine.
- The sulphur level is far lower than what the Italian government would allow us to use.
We don’t apply biodynamic or similar methods, but simply work the vineyards and the vines using the same methods that have been employed for hundreds of years.
Our first goal is our health and the health of the people that work with us, respecting the land and environment, because it’s from the vineyards that we get our only profit.
The landscape is our only patrimony, and we have both a duty and a moral commitment to preserve it as much as we can in order to pass it on to the next generation.”
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