Portuguese winery Quinta da Pedra Alta (QPA) has appointed Winetraders (UK) Ltd to be its partner in the UK.

The Douro-based estate, which produces both still and Port wines, is the first Portuguese winery to join the Winetraders’ portfolio. The wines are aimed at the independent off-trade and premium on-trade.

Following a change of ownership in 2018, there has been significant investment in the winery, a strengthening of the winemaking team and a complete brand and range refresh.

QPA’s commercial director Andy Brown said: “Finding the right partner was the next logical step in our re-brand and we believe we have found the perfect fit in Winetraders. Michael and his team have an excellent reputation with our ideal customer profile and a strong history of long-term partnerships, successfully establishing several premium brands in the UK market.

“It is a period of difficult trading conditions and challenging times for many businesses, but we need to continue to move forward and take the next positive steps for the future.”

Winetraders’ founder, Michael Palij MW, said: ‘These wines blew me away the first time I tried them. We wouldn’t normally have considered expanding our range into Portugal – but I just couldn’t say ‘no’. The white is a revelation with razor-sharp acidity and masses of stone fruit, while the red has those wonderful Touriga tannins to balance the fruit and is exceptional value. It’s the Tawny Port, however, that sealed the deal. Blind, I would have said it was a 20-year-old. The sweetness takes a back seat and the Pedra Alta acidity provides the focus. Awesome wines and a natural fit with our range of hand-crafted, family estates.’

Director and consultant winemaker, Matt Gant, oversees winemaking and supports longstanding winemaker and viticulturalist João Pires, who has been at the estate since 2009, to realise the full potential of the land. Having worked a number of vintages together, both at the Douro estate and in Barossa, both João and Matt have a shared belief in the potential of the Pedra Alta site and combine their expertise and experience to produce the blends and deliver exceptional quality.

Located in the highest part of the Cima Corgo north of Pinhão, one of the real strengths of the Pedra Alta site is the variety of vineyard altitudes (from 230m to 550m) and breadth of indigenous varieties planted across the 35 hectare estate, including Rabigato, Gouveio, Viosinho, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca & Sousão.

This allows the estate to produce a broad range of styles from fresh elegant whites, to richer Douro Reds as well as Ports, including an exciting modern interpretation of white Port and a 10-year-old Tawny with a perfect harmony of balance and sweetness.

There are four wines in the current range, an entry level red and white from indigenous Douro varieties (RRP £13 – £15), as well as a White Port (RRP £18, 50cl) and a 10-year-old Tawny Port (RRP £25, 50cl). Future additions to the range include a Reserva level Branco and Tinto and premium single vineyard reds, as well as plans to release an LBV and Vintage Port.