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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Michele Shah

Altesino, a top Brunello producer, has been bought by Elisabetta Angelini Gnudi - widow of Paolo Angelini, of the Angelini pharmaceutical group - for e20 million. The estate, with its fortified 14th century villa, is situated northeast of Montalcino. Gnudi's previous purchases include top Tuscan estates Tenuta Caparzo, a 50 hectare (ha) estate in Montalcino, and Borgo Scopeto, a 90ha estate in Chianti Classico. In 1995, a second branch of the Angelini family purchased three prime Tuscan estates: Val di Suga in Montalcino, San Leonino in Chianti Classico and Tre Rose in Montepulciano. Altesino comprises 27ha of vines - 20ha of Brunello and 7ha of Sant'Antimo and Rosso di Montalcino. Its labels include Brunello Montosoli, Borgo d'Altesi and Palazzo d'Altesi. Claudio Basla, technical director and a shareholder in Altesino, will continue to oversee the winemaking with the assistance of consultant oenologist Piero Rivella, brother of another top winemaker, Ezio Rivella, who is now president of Unione Italiana Vini. Plans have been made to renew the winery, update the equipment and replant some of the vines.