Alto Estate Shiraz is made from 100% Shiraz grapes and is made by winemaker Bertho van der Westhuizen. The Estate is probably most famous for their Alto Estate Rouge, a Bordeaux-style Cape Blend and they make a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon too.
Alto Estate can trace its origins back to 1693 when it was part of a large farm called Groenrivier. In 1919 owner Hennie Malan sold off half of the farmland to his brother-in-law who immediately set about planting red grape varieties and Alto Estate was born. Alto Estate is situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin district. Its trellised vineyards cling to the high granite slopes that rise from a 100 to 500 metres above sea level, which are ideal for the cultivation of red grape varietals. Unsurprisingly, Alto is, and has always been, red wine country.
The grapes for the Alto Estate Shiraz are grown on vineyards planted in deep, red, decomposed granite and clay soils on a north-westerly slope, situated 200m to 400m above seal level. The 10 year old vines are grown under dryland conditions and are trellised on a five-wire hedge system. The grapes are harvested by hand and are destalked prior to crushing. The juice was fermented for seven days on the skins in stainless steel tanks at 25C to 27C. After malolactic fermentation Alto Estate Shiraz was aged in wood for 18 months, using a combination of French (40%) and American (60%) first, second and third-fill barrels.