Alto Shiraz 2017


Our award-winning Shiraz is a full-bodied offering whose delicate spice, prune and plum flavours give way to a creamy mouthfeel with a good tannic backbone.


The grapes for this wine came from vineyards planted in deep, decomposed granite and clay soils on a north-westerly slope, situated some 100m to 150m above sea level. The vines are grown under optimum conditions and are trellised on a five-wire hedge system. They yielded 8 to 12 tons per hectare.

The grapes were harvested by hand at 24.5° – 26° Balling in mid- March. After destalking and crushing, the juice was fermented for 10 days on the skins in stainless-steel tanks at 25° to 27°C. We use a pump-over system. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in wood for 18 months, using a combination of French (80%) and American (20%) first-, second- and third-fill barrels.

Colour: Rich, hearty red

Bouquet: Red fruit, violets and peppery notes dominates the fragrance.

Taste: Medium to full-bodied. Well refined tannins from 2017 vintage supported by good fruit and wood spice integration.

  • 2021
    • Platters 4 ½ stars
  • 2020
    • Decanter gold – 95 points
    • Platter 4 ½ stars
    • Vitis Vinifera Double Gold
  • 2019
    • Winemag rating – 91 points

Food pairing: Excellent enjoyed with Mediterranean dishes such as spicy lamb and meat casseroles, roasts, oxtail and even the traditional South African barbeque.

Alcohol: 14.3% by vol

Residual sugar: 2.7 g/l

Total acidity: 5.6 g/l

pH: 3.55

Extract: 33.0 g/l

Alto, situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch district, dates back to 1693 when it was part of a much larger farm called Groenriver (Green River), granted to a free burgher by Governor Simon van der Stel. In 1919 the owner of the farm, Hennie Malan, sold off half the land to his brother-in-law and set about planting vines on his remaining portion, focusing exclusively on red varieties. He named the smaller farm Alto, a reference to its altitude (some slopes rise as high as 500m above sea level) and his striving for excellence. Alto has 93 hectares under vines. The trellised vineyards cling to the high granite slopes, ideal for the cultivation of red wine varieties.

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