Brazil’s heritage of winemaking was established in the early 1800’s by Italian immigrants, but has been almost completely unknown in the world market. For a country that spans over 3 million square miles and stretches over 30 degrees of latitude, only some 68,000 hectares are under vine, and only 5,000 of those are planted to vitis vinifera. As the equator runs directly through the northern portion of the country, the climate there is far too hot and humid for European vines, so the rest of the plantings consist of rot- and mildew-resistant American table grape vines.
While there are plenty of mass-producing vines in the tropical north, the quality plantings are located in the south, around latitude 29° on high altitude, coastal states bordering Uruguay. Quality wine production began in the 1970′s, when international conglomerate Moët & Chandon and several other large producers recognized the potential of the land and established a South American presence. The regions of Santa Catarina and Rio Grando do Sul have shown excellent results, particularly with sparkling wines utilizing the same traditional production method as Champagne! With the 2016 Summer Olympics just a few years away, Brazil’s fledgling wine industry is about to get some vital exposure on the world-stage.
Vinicola Geisse / Cave AmadeuAfter being recruited as general manager of Moët & Chandon do Brasil in 1976, Mario Geisse sought out the best soils and climates to start his own production. An agronomist and enologist by trade, Mario found the Pinto Bandeira region in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The vineyards sit at about 800 meters above sea level, with well-draining soils and ideal sun aspects. Instead of the large production methods common to the area, Geisse is a true artisan producer — his vineyards are 100% sustainably-farmed, with no pesticides or chemicals to take them out of harmony with the environment.
Villagio GrandoIn the 1990’s, Carlos Grando’s friend from Armagnac, visited the highlands of Santa Catarina and proclaimed it to be “one of the best places in the world to plant grapes for wine production.” A year later, Carlos met with University of Bordeaux trained winemaker Jean Pierre Rosier, and confirmed what his French friend had declared — they planted vines in 1998 brought directly from France — today the vineyards span 42 hectares and have over 80 varietals planted.
PanceriThe Panceri family’s tradition of viticulture was born in 1884, when Giuseppe Panceri immigrated to Brazil and planted their first vines. For over 100 years, their grapes and wines were sold off in bulk — it was only in 1994 that the Panceri name ever graced a bottle. With the help of modern technology and wisdom that they realized that their hillside vineyards at 1000-1200 meters above sea level were perfect for premium grapes. The soils are well-drained and very deep, and the newest generation has injected new life into the family business, focusing it on artisanal, quality wines. Their first exports came in 2007.
Vinecraft has partnered with pioneering importer Spirits do Brasil, and distribute these wines exclusively in Florida. For more information, please email us at email@example.com.