The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

A Visit to Poderi Aldo Conterno

Posted on | May 27, 2015 | Written by Garrett Kowalsky | No Comments

In 2013 my brother Justin, who also works at IWM, and I took our parents on a journey across France. It was such an incredible experience that we vowed to do our best to continue with a new adventure on every odd numbered year. Well, it’s 2015 and we work at Italian Wine Merchants, so where do you think we went this time? That’s right: Italy.

​Despite being a fraction of the size of the U.S., Italy has many incredibly diverse regions. In fact, you could easily argue that Italians are more loyal to their local traditions than they are to Italy as a whole. Our ​travels took us to four very distinct regions: Barolo (Piemonte), Cinque Terre (Liguria), Montalcino and Florence (both in Toscana) I hope to share a little bit of each of these wonderful places with you, and I’d like to start with Barolo. More specifically, I’d like to take you along on a visit with me to Poderi Aldo Conterno.

Since the 1960s Poderi Aldo Conterno (then “Il Favot”) has been making drop-dead gorgeous Barolos, as well as a selection of other wines. Originally, Aldo Conterno had inherited the Giacomo Conterno estate with his brother Giovanni, but he decided to strike out on his own. Sadly, Aldo passed in 2012, but his family carries on his memory by continuing to produce some of the finest wines in Italy. His son Giacomo was kind enough to open his doors to my family and me early on a Tuesday morning. Here is a little of what we saw—I’ll tell you more about the wines we drank in another post.


Aldo Entrance

Aldo Entrance – I wasn’t quick enough with the camera, but a large gate opens slowly and welcomes you to Poderi Aldo Conterno.

Aldo Flowers

Aldo Flowers – Spring flowers were in full bloom on the estate.

Aldo View

Aldo View – Perched on top of the hill, the estate has a grand view of a huge swath of Barolo.

Aldo House

Aldo House – A view from the outside before Giacomo guided us to the tasting room.

Aldo Conterno Wines

Conterno Wines – We sat for over two hours with Giacomo (son of Aldo) at the Aldo Conterno estate. He was generous with his time and his wines, trying us on all of the new releases.

Aldo Tunnel

Aldo Tunnel – After an intense tasting session we traveled through a few tunnels that brought us deeper into the hillside.


Aldo Giacomo Speech

Aldo Speech – These tunnels first lead you to the large barrel rooms where the estate keeps its Barbera and Langhe wines. Giacomo is lower right providing more knowledge than you could ever hope to take in.

Aldo Conterno Barrels

Conterno Barrels – Deep in the labyrinth that is Aldo Conterno’s cellars (I am not confident I could find my way out of there in less than an hour) is where the Barolo rests in much larger barrels made of Slavonian Oak.

Aldo Private Bottles

Aldo Private Bottles – Along the journey you might even find the family’s private stash of bottles going back 50 years.


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