Pedra a Pedra Branco 2018

Producer: Pedra Alta
Region: Douro
Country: Portugal
Classification: DOC
Wine Type: White
Variety: Rabigato and Gouveio
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12.5%
Residual Sugar: 1.6 g/L
Soil: Schist
Farming Practices: Traditional
Awards: 91-Jamie Goode; 89-Decanter
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Cellar Profile

In the heart of the Douro Valley’s Cima Corgo sub-region, you’ll find a winery that strikes a fine balance between tradition and modernity, elegantly showcasing the exciting breadth of offerings coming out of Portugal these days. Quinta da Pedra Alta is the longtime dream-come-true of a small group of family and friends from the United Kingdom, who purchased the historic property in 2018. Their 35 hectares of steep, terraced vineyards are the archetype Douro landscape, dramatically rising from the eponymous river that meanders through northern Portugal. Only indigenous Portuguese grapes — namely Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Roriz for reds and Gouveio, Rabigato and Viosinho for whites — are planted on poor, schist-based soils. The winemaking is led by two young and dynamic individuals, João Pires from Portugal and Matt Gant from Australia. As is tradition in the area, all wines are blends and grapes are crushed via foot treading in granite lagares. Only wild yeasts are used in fermentation and oak aging is measured. Pedra Alta wines are at once powerful and refined, offering up loads of Douro Valley warmth alongside Old World structure and sophistication.


Named after the river which runs throughout the Iberian peninsula before entering the Atlantic Ocean, the Douro region is best known for producing the fortified wine, Port. The past few decades have seen an uptick in the quantity and quality of unfortified wines from here, usually falling under the DOC Douro designation. The region’s vast array of native grapes are the ingredients for both Port and their unfortified counterparts, most notably Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) for reds, and Gouveio, Rabigato, Malvasia Fina and Viosinho for whites. The climate here is hot and dry, with steep terraced vineyards combining to produce extremely ripe grapes and subsequently full-flavoured, high alcohol wines.


This 35ha property is located in the heart of the Douro Valley, in the Cima Corgo sub-region. Unlike new Douro wineries which often plant vertically on the slopes, Quinta da Pedra Alta only has terraced vineyards. On some terraces, there is just a single row of vines, accessible only by the people who work on the land. Vines are planted on different faces of the hills and the combination of variation of altitude and exposure to the sun helps give perfect balance and complexity to the finished product. These are poor, schist-based soils, obliging the roots of the vines to grow deep into the hillside.


A blend of traditional Douro grapes Rabigato and Gouveio. Both are used widely in the production of white Port as well as unfortified white wines. Considered one of the Douro’s finest white grapes, Rabigato adds bright acidity and salty minerality to blends alongside notes of acacia, orange blossom and white peach. Gouveio is now planted throughout Portugal with particularly significant plantings in Alentejo. Among its attributes: fresh acidity, bright citrus fruit and complex anise seed character.


Wild yeast ferment in stainless steel tanks with strict temperature control. No malolactic conversion in order to preserve freshness and acidity. Matured sur lie in tank for 6 months.

Tasting Notes 

A refreshing, aromatic and textured wine bursting with citrus, passion fruit and pineapple notes. The palate is full with a lovely acid grip and salty finish.