The Symington family’s experimental grape variety vineyard is the only one of its scale in the Douro Valley, and 2.25-hectare plantation is home to 53 different Portuguese and imported varieties of both red and white grapes.
Our experimental grape variety nursery has two main objectives. The first is to contribute to the genetic diversity of the grape varieties in the Douro region and the second is to identify the grape varieties best suited for the region, allowing us to understand which varieties we should invest in for the future.
The research and development that will be carried out in the coming years will involve universities and other research institutions, and the findings of our work will be shared for the benefit of Douro viticulture and wine making in general.
THE ALTANO VINEYARDS
Our vineyards are cultivated with
a deep respect for the environment
THE WINEMAKING PROCESS
1. Harvesting the grapes
Grapes for DOC wines are harvested up to a week earlier than those for making Port in order to preserve their natural freshness, ideal levels of acidity and to avoid excessive alcoholic strength (which can result from overly ripened grapes with high sugar contents).
After a light crushing, the selected grapes are released from above (a gravity fed system) into the fermentation vats. This ensures that the berries reach the vats in optimal condition, preserving all their natural properties whilst reducing the risk of rough-edged tannins to a minimum.
2. Grape Selection
The grapes are vinified in the Symington family's state-of-the-art Douro DOC winery at Quinta do Sol, where they are subjected to a thorough selection process.
Altano Red wine is then transferred into 225, 300 or 400 litre seasoned French and American oak casks where it is aged for a minimum of four months in the Symington family’s cellars. Altano Organic and Altano Reserva are aged in partially new French and American oak casks respectively.
OUR GRAPE VARIETIES
Altano is produced from traditional Portuguese grape varieties, ideal for thriving in the sometimes harsh environment that is the Douro Valley.
Find out more about our grape varieties.