" I'm a farmer, I know the hard work from the past times. I was here
when farmers would plough the vineyards with an ox and I did it myself
until I was twenty. This way I learned to respect work and the land"
Grandpa Giuseppe came to la Morra in 1948, the family Altare was
originally from the town of Dogliani, even if old documents and wills,
translated by a close relative archpriest, spoke about some Jewish
descent from Palestine.
Giuseppe bought the farm in La Morra, the estate covered 5 hectares, a
few nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto vineyards, and some peach, hazelnut
and apple trees, but those were times when orchards gave higher yield
and more profit than vineyards.
They were not easy times, given the economic crisis that lasted for
years, Elio, along with other friends, decided to learn about winemaking
beyond the borders of Piemonte and try to grab some of the success that
those regions were enjoying. Their first trip to Burgundy, in January
1976, was a revelation, and when Elio got back home he knew there were
major changes to be made, first of all his "mind frame", but also in the
farming, winemaking and trading, so he began experimenting with methods
outside of the traditional ones in Piemonte.
He wasn't afraid: he grabbed a chainsaw, as if it was a sword, and first
he cut down the fruit trees in the orchard, then in the cellar he
chopped up the big old wooden tanks into fire wood, 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, the old man was not able to
accept what he thought was an offence against common sense and
tradition, and he sought comfort in silence, he died in 1985 and
Elio stood firm then and still today. Firmly he decided to his change
direction and to give a different interpretation to the family's wine,
favouring elegance, finesse, and balance, following a strict regime in
the vineyards, adopting new vinification and aging techniques in the
cellar, Elio still stubbornly chases his dream today.
The farm is still today family managed, under Elio's supervision, we
work on 10 hectares with an average production of 60.000 bottles.