Nicholas Altare is a 27 year old who loves the land, the countryside and his work. He has also had the good fortune to find himself with an estate handed down from generation to generation, but above all to have met a master like Ferdinando Principiano. Until 2015, his family had always sold the estate’s grapes to other producers.
“It was heartbreaking to see my grapes sold to others and then with the help of Ferdinando Principiano I decided to try and vinify the first grapes in 2015.”
San Luigi is a village in Dogliani in the heart of the Dolcetto Dogliani production area, where the climate is cold and wet in the winter often with thick fog. Warm and sultry summers carry the possibility of strong thunderstorms, something always in the back of Nicholas’ mind.
Dogliani is known as the birthplace of Luigi Einaudi who was the first elected president of the Italian Republic, and the great entrepreneur Michele Ferrero known all over the world for Nutella. But we’re more interested in their Dolcetto di Dogliani!
“My product is an organic or natural product, call it what you will. I’m not certified because I have never been interested in a stamp on a paper, but I’ve always been interested in obtaining a natural product.”
In the vineyards the only treatments are copper and sulphur-based, with manure from the estate’s own cattle production. No pesticides or herbicides are used, and in the summer they use strimmers to keep the grass in check.
Nicholas says the work in the cellar is the simplest and easiest. After harvesting, the grapes are taken to the cellar and pressed, after which he waits a few days for the alcoholic fermentation to get going and from there they are pumped over once a day for 10 minutes. The maceration in contact with the skins lasts about 20 days. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks for 10 months, and then bottled.
“This is me and my story, my dream is to keep learning about the land, the vines and to keep growing.”