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 Groenrivier (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 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.
This wine is made from grapes of north-facing dryland vines, between 9 and 20 years old, that grow in decomposed granite soils and clay subsoil situated at altitudes of 135m and 475m above sea level respectively. The vines on the higher slopes are fanned by the cooling maritime breezes from nearby False Bay.
First-, second- and third-fill French oak barrels and matured for 18 months.
Bouquet: Cherries, violets, black olives, some dark chocolate and a hint of tobacco.
Taste: Full-bodied and mouth-filling with cherries, tobacco, dark chocolate and a good tannic structure.