A new year means a new series of Up Close & Personal events are revving up and our first guest has got our wine loving hearts pounding with anticipation. On Wednesday, March 8th, Silvia Altare will be hanging out at Ascari, pouring her family’s wines and filling the room with her larger than life personality. If you know Piemonte, you know the Elio Altare family; people who make wine purely, authentically and full of the life and love that they exude, while perfectly representing the tradition of the region in which they produce.
As per the usual Up Close & Personal format, this is a casual event…no tickets required but reservations recommended. Come by for dinner and drink the wine, chat with Sylvia, and if you can’t make it for dinner, just drop in for a sip or two and hang out with all of us.
Call for reservations: 416.792.4157
1111 Queen Street East
Toronto M4M 1K7
ABOUT AZIENDA AGRICOLA ELIO ALTARE
Grandpa Giuseppe came to la Morra in 1948.
The family Altare was originally from the town of Dogliani, then the farm in La Morra was bought. 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 yield and more profit than vineyards.
Back then it wasn’t easy, given the economic crisis that lasted for years. Elio, along with other friends, decided to learn more about winemaking beyond the borders of Piemonte, trying 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.
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 he chopped up the big old wooden tanks in the cellar 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. 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. Stubbornly he decided to change direction and 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.
The farm is still family managed today. Under Elio’ s supervision, we farm 10 hectares with an average production of 70.000 bottles.
Since 2003 Silvia, the oldest daughter, began working besides Elio, while Elena, the youngest daughter, moved to Germany, where she runs a wine importing company.
ABOUT UP CLOSE & PERSONAL
At Ascari Enoteca we have been fortunate to meet many of the unique personalities behind the wines we pour. We would like you to meet them too. We consider our ‘Up Close & Personal’ wine series as the anti-wine dinner; a continuing series of commitment-free evenings, conceived of as an alternative to expensive, multi-course winemaker dinners. We will be welcoming winemakers from around the world and closer to home. In addition to our regular menu and wine list, we will be offering a selection of their wines by the glass or by the bottle. Our guests will be spending evenings with us pouring their wines at your table, chatting about anything you may find interesting, sharing their passion and having a glass and a plate of food themselves. If you enjoy hearing the winemakers tell you their stories and the stories of their wines, these are rare opportunites to personally meet the people behind the bottles and the labels. Ask them anything, or just relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour.