Created in 1972, the Altesino estate extends over a surface of 175 acres (90 of which vineyards) in the township of Montalcino. The estate consists of four different holdings: Altesino, Velona, Pianezzine, and Montosoli, and is headquartered in the eastern hills of the appellation, in the 15th century Altesi Palace, edified by the noble Tricerchi family. Here as well are the aging cellars and, below ground, the area where the grapes are fermented. Since 2002, the property, now as in the past directed by Claudio Basla, belongs to Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini, who purchased it as, historically, the most innovative estate of Montalcino. In its first thirty years of life it was, in fact, a forge for path-breaking ideas: the first to introduce the concept of cru to the territory, placing proudly on the labels the name of Montosoli, its finest vineyard, the first to experiment with small oak barrels in 1979, the first to create an estate grappa in 1977, beginning a period of collaboration with distiller Gioacchino Nannoni, the first to market futures of Brunello di Montalcino with the 1985 vintage, introducing certificates of future purchases for those who wished to reserve the bottles.
The largest part of the Altesino production comes from the fermentation of Sangiovese grapes, entirely on their own for the Brunello, the Rosso di Montalcino, and for Palazzo Altesi (which differentiates itself by special fermentation techniques, not used for the other wines). The Sangiovese, instead, is blended with Cabernet and Merlot for two other wines, the Rosso Altesino and the Alte di Altesi, less strictly tied to the typical character of the appellation. The pride of the estate, however, is the Brunello di Montalcino produced from the grapes of a vineyard of 12.5 acres in the northern part of the township, situated at an altitude of 1150 feet above sea level: this is the Brunello cru of the Montosoli vineyard, bottled only in the finest vintages (in other vintages it is blended with the other wines and used for the regular Brunello bottling). On different occasions the “Wine Spectator” has selected this wine as among the top 100 of the world.