SPOTLIGHT ON OUR PRODUCERS: SILVIA ALTARE, WINEMAKER, ELIO ALTARE
Elio Altare | Piedmont, Italy
What do you want people to know about Elio Altare?
We make great wine, but our story is just as exciting. We are a dynamic winery and my dad, Elio, has a lot of ideas. In fact, he is a pioneer and rebel who helped put Piedmont and Barolos on the map.
You have a rich history that helped introduce Barolos to the world. Tell us more.
Up until the early 1980s, it was difficult to sell respectable wine in our region. Life was simple here and the overwhelming majority of farmers were extremely poor. Most started off selling grapes.
In 1976, my dad decided to make exploratory visits to the Burgundy region of France to learn from the best winemakers in the world. He brought back the notions of organic farming, aging wine in French oak, and other aspects of production that helped yield notable wine. By the early 80’s, a wave of quality Barolos came out of our region. The methods became known as the Modernist movement. My dad was part of a group of winemakers known as the “Barolo Boys” for their contributions to the region. Some consider him to be a rock star.
Barolo is now known all over the world — and our farmers are much happier, proud, and financially stable. Few sell their grapes anymore. People now appreciate that we’ve been sitting on gold this whole time.
I am a first-time mom to a six-month-old baby girl named Nora, and am eager for her to hear these incredible stories.
As winemaker, how are you carrying Elio Altare forward?
While my dad led a revolution, I am honored to lead an evolution. I began working alongside him in 2003 and am helping to carry Elio Altare wines forward with new technology and machinery.
What are your favorite wines to drink?
Dolcetto is an entry level wine that’s similar in style to Beaujolais. It’s good as an aperitif or to pair with pizza. I believe that when you like a label’s entry level wine, you can expect to love the entire range of wines from Barolo to Barbera.
I’m also fond of Barolo DOCG Cannubi because it comes from the first vineyard I purchased on my own.
What drew you to Vanguard Wines?
We’ve been working together since 2011, and I love the personal relationship we’ve built. They take a genuine interest in our wine and our family’s heritage, even drinking our wine at home and sharing photos with us. I’ve attended several Portfolio Shows and spent time with the Vanguard Wines team during visits to Italy or the U.S., which has created many memories.