100 Years of Alto, and the Song Remains the Same

As in all art, nothing can ever be perfect in the wine world. But Alto Estate does come impossibly close.

Location, yes. Alto lies on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s Helderberg, one of the patches of God’s earth that manages to combine spine-tinglingly magnificent scenery with geography and geology that is ideal for the growing of grapevines. It is mountain granite from the Cape’s Fold belt that has been ground down over the past 1,5 million years, iron-rich and red and rocky, and lovely soil for wine vines to get stuck in.
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Don’t Be Afraid of the Brand

For professional reasons I often have to include the word “brand” in marketing discussions, and like rugby, pizza, blonde and car it is a word that can lead to lengthy and mixed views, with more opinions vexed thereon than strategies for world peace in the Middle East. In the wine world, however, the B-word gets pussy-footed around. Largely because real established brands are seen as big, popular things owned by large impersonal corporates producing wines that – heaven forbid – are actually consumed in copious volumes.

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