You may know Matt Gant from First Drop Wines in the Barossa Valley, Australia.
In 2007, he met João in the Alentejo, another wine region in Portugal, and since then they’ve shared harvests in Portugal and Australia every year. When Matt first came to the Douro he was totally blown away by the landscape and the opportunities that this region presented for creative winemaking.
Now he’s an integral part of Pedra Alta, coming to the winery for the harvest, blending, tasting and making all the winemaking decisions with João.
Matt, a childhood friend of the owner, is full of enthusiasm for the Douro and loves to discover all the possibilities that the local grapes offer to a winemaker. He really sees the opportunities that exist in this region: indigenous grapes, a wine region with a growing international reputation, old vineyards, and simply, the beauty of the place.
João Pires, our Portuguese winemaker, has been working on this land for ten years: he knows every inch of it and wants the wine to be a faithful interpretation of the place.
He's young, passionate about the land and its heritage, and he was instrumental in bringing the team together to this special place he has known his entire life. João is very discreet but believe us when we tell you he knows every vine on every parcel of land inside Quinta da Pedra Alta.
João is totally part of the local community and the young Douro wine scene, exploring, innovating and sharing with this new wave of ground-breaking winemakers.
We believe that the land offers us unique opportunities and is something we have no intention of changing.
Even though some of the elements are challenging, this is what gives Pedra Alta its individual personality. The schist soils are fantastic for our grapes but are not the easiest to manage; the extraordinarily steep slopes present obvious challenges when it comes to working on the vines; and the grape varieties we have inherited require a lot of careful management by João. Having said all that, the combination of these realities is precisely what makes our wines so characterful.
What you taste in the bottle is the result of an uncompromising vision to interfere as little as possible in the natural legacy of our vines and land.
Our idea has always been to make this experience as much about people as about the wines. Our long-time friend Matt is the central character in the story as he was responsible for bringing us all together. And we are very thankful for that.
We love to bring friends, family and clients to the winery. In each bottle, we try to add a little bit of the magic of the Douro, but to experience it in person is obviously something very special.