Winemaker Sarah Fletcher, had a very clear vision for Alta from day one
Sarah wanted to showcase South Australia's Adelaide Hills as an outstanding cool climate wine region, selecting specific varieties and handpicking quality fruit. This has allowed her to create fresh, varietal wine styles with depth and obvious regional character. "My aim is to produce wines from varieties that thrive in the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills, each showing strong varietal character and distinctive regional expression."
In February 2005, Sarah became involved with Alta and took on the position of Winemaker. The 2005 vintage was her first, which followed the successful 2003 and 2004 releases. Four years at Adelaide University's Roseworthy Campus studying Oenology and seven years working for Orlando Wyndham as both red and white winemaker, producing wines from all over Australia, was enough to convince Sarah that the Adelaide Hills is an outstanding and distinctive wine region.
Working at Orlando gave Sarah the opportunity to work alongside many industry legends, such as John Vickery and Philip Laffer. Her knowledge and experience lead her to pursue her dream of owning her own brand. Of all the wine regions, she was most impressed by the uniqueness and potential of the Adelaide Hills so, when approached in 2005 to take on Alta, she jumped at the chance. Since then, Sarah has produced a consistently award winning Sauvignon Blanc, in addition to releasing three new varietals; Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Rosé.
Wine grapes were first planted in the Adelaide Hills in 1839. Situated east of Adelaide, the long and narrow Adelaide Hills wine region runs through the southern Mount Lofty Ranges. It is one of South Australia's largest wine regions, stretching from the edge of the Barossa and Eden Valleys in the north, to the boundaries of McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek in the south.
The region is renowned for its variation in mesoclimates, with topograpy ranging from gently rolling hills to deep gullies with steep slopes. The majority of vineyards lie within an altitude of 400 - 700 metres with average rainfall 1,250mm. The altitude and steep topography have a major cooling effect on climate, which along with high rainfall, lend themselves to the production of earlier ripening, cool climate varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.