A Bright future for Terra d'Alter

September 24, 2013

After 30 years in Portugal, Peter Bright continues to wear his infectious enthusiasm like a badge. One of the most passionate of winemakers, he charges around the winery like an excited schoolboy, desperate to share his latest project with a new audience. Chatting with him, it is impossible not to get caught up with his sense of excitement but it is only when you start to taste the Terra d'Alter range that a lightbulb flicks on and you realise what it is that continues to drive this 60 year old Aussie.

Based in the region of Alto Alentejo, tucked away in southeastern Portugal, some 2 hours drive east from Lisbon, this is certainly not one of the world's more fashionable wine growing areas but that in itself carries distinct advantages, at least in terms of land prices. Working with 2 other major partners, they have invested both in vineyards and in a new winery (nothing flashy, its a unit on an industrial estate on the edge of the town of Fronteira) with a mission to produce a portfolio of wines at varying price levels but all of which offer quite exceptional value.

Working with a mixture of traditional Portuguese and well recognised international varieties, Peter has created a range of beautifully made. elegant wines of real character and individuality. As part of the tasting exercise we looked at both current vintages and back vintages which served to emphasise that these are wines of substance some of which will happily improve over 5-6 years. Not bad for something which costs little more that a takeaway curry!

From this merchant's point of view, one of the most refreshing aspects of our whistle-stop visit was the "warts and all" approach taken by our hosts. All too often winery visits resemble something of a beauty pageant focussing on beautifully manicured vineyards and dimly lit cellars but here we were treated to the reality of a working winery in the middle of the vintage. Oak chips? Yup, there they are being used quite unashamedly to add extra definition and texture to the entry level wines, Oak staves? Most certainly, hard to disguise hanging there in the fermentation tanks but the fact is that these are part of the armoury of tools used by Peter to craft this extraordinary range of wines.

Working in this industry we are privileged to enjoy a certain amount of hospitality and to visit some pretty spectacular places but this 24 hour trip to Terra d'Alter rates as one of the most interesting, informative and attitude changing that I have experienced. I urge you to try the wines as they are really quite special.

 Currently in stock or on their way......

Terra d'Alter Branco 2012                                   £7.99

Terra d'Alter Alvarinho 2011                                £9.59

Terra d'Alter Verdelho 2011                                £9.59

Terra d'Alter Viognier 2012                                 £9.59

Terra d'Alter Reserva Branco 2010                  £10.95

Terra d'Alter Tinto 2011                                       £7.99

Terra d'Alter Touriga Nacional 2010                 £9.59

Terra d'Alter Alicante Bouschet 2011               £9.59

Terra d'Alter Reserva Tinto 2009                      £10.95

Also in Blog

In Search of Rioja
In Search of Rioja

September 19, 2020

In northern Spain, some 95km south of Bilbao and bisected almost laterally by the River Ebro lies Spain’s most popular and famous wine region, a region of some 66,000 hectares of vineyards worked by 14,800 growers and dominated by some of the most celebrated names in the wine world.

Continue Reading

Coteaux du Giennois, Terre de Silex - OFFER
Coteaux du Giennois, Terre de Silex - OFFER

August 03, 2020

It started early on a Saturday in June. I’m minded to say that it disturbed my lie-in but it was way earlier than that that my phone first pinged to announce the arrival of a new website order. (I wonder if Jeff Bezos has the same app on his phone?). Ignored it, rolled over and 5 minutes later it went again. And again. And etc, etc. Finally, before switching the thing off, curiosity got the better of me and I opened up the online shop to find a stream of orders for a wine that I fell in love with 2 years ago but that we had failed to make much headway with – Coteaux du Giennois, Terre de Silex from Clement & Florian Berthier,

Continue Reading

Bat S*** Crazy Elemental Bob – pre-shipment offer 
Bat S*** Crazy Elemental Bob – pre-shipment offer 

July 03, 2020

Continue Reading

Mouthwatering 6 packs

May 20, 2020

Although the world has been turned upside down of late, Covid-19 hasn’t interrupted our Captain Kirk approach to wine-buying – seeking out new wines, new spirits and beers, boldly drinking what no man has drunk before. Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration

Continue Reading