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Our Location

With the range of wines made entirely from grapes grown on the estate, the foundation for Alto’s success over the years has always been its remarkable terroir.

Alto is situated in the heart of the so-called ‘Golden Triangle’, and the farm’s position on the warmer northern slopes of the Helderberg make it ideally suited to red wine production. And yet the diversity of the farm allows for enormous complexity in the vineyards.

Planted largely on soils of decomposed granite, the vineyards range in altitude from 100 to 500 metres above sea level. While generous late-afternoon sunshine guarantees concentration and colour in the grapes, the cooling sea breezes blowing in off nearby False Bay lengthen the hanging time on the vine to ensure phenolic ripeness and gentle tannins.

Crafting world-class wines always begins in the vineyard, and key to Alto’s ongoing success is the dedication to discovering greatness in every vine. Every single vineyard – and even parcels within a vineyard – have the opportunity to shine. Each row, and each barrel, has the potential of being a component in Alto’s flagship blend.

Just as important is the estate’s ongoing process of vineyard rejuvenation. In 2014 nine hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon were replanted, and the quality of fruit from this high-lying block is exceeding expectations from early on. Cabernet Sauvignon typically improves as it ages; the fruit from this vineyard – the second highest on the farm – has shown exceptional purity from the start.

Another Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard, the highest parcel on the farm, was uprooted in 2015 and is lying fallow ahead of replanting in 2018. With those vines in the ground, more than half of the estate will soon be planted to Cabernet Sauvignon .

Alto’s focus has always been on the cultivars known to do well on Alto. And that's Cabernet and Shiraz. Still, versatility is explored through the use of different clones and the planting of vineyards at different altitudes on different soil types. All provide unique building blocks on the road to the final blend.