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Alto Wine Estate has triumphed at the prestigious Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, which were announced at a gala function in Cape Town on Saturday. Gold medals awarded to the both the Alto Cabernet Sauvignon and Alto Rouge have again placed this celebrated estate among South Africa’s best.Keenly anticipated, the championship is one of the wine industry and connoisseurs’ most highly rated events of the year.

“It’s always gratifying to have our wines recognised at events like Michelangelo,” says Alto winemaker Bertho van der Westhuizen. “The achievements re-affirm our confidence in the quality of the vineyards and stylistic direction we adopt with the wines in the cellar.”

The accolades come on the heels of a string of achievements for the renowned Stellenbosch property.

Award-winning British journalist and Master of Wine Tim Atkin’s authoritative annual report on South African wines, released just last month, singled out almost every single wine in the Alto portfolio for a rating score of 90+. He awarded the Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 with 93 points; Alto MPHS 2013, 94; Alto Rouge 2016, 90; and, Alto Signature Red Blend 2015, 94.

In July at the 2018 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards, the title of Best Cabernet Sauvignon overall was awarded to Alto for its 2014 vintage. Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards highlights the success with which a wine reflects its provenance – its soils, climate and aspect.

Alto’s performance at Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards adds to a legacy of excellence for which the estate is internationally famous.

This year’s winners were determined by panels comprising over 27 international judges from 16 countries, including France, Italy, the UK and China. The competition is unique in South Africa, in that all judges are hand-picked wine experts, representing all seven continents.

The Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards annually receive in some 1700 wine and spirits entries from both South Africa and international producers, who compete in more than 50 classes. These are judged blind, using the 100-point international system.

Alto is located on the Annandale Road off the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West. Here, heritage and tradition, married with evolution and innovation have become hallmarks of the estate.

Stretched out along the steep northern slopes of the Helderberg, it has built a reputation for close to a century as one of the most respected red wine producers in South Africa. Meticulous viticulture and attentive winemaking practice – applied by only a handful of long-serving winemakers – are key elements of this success.