THE CAPITAL OF BRASILIAN WINES
Brazil is an unknown wine country with its wine region on the borders with Argentina. It will become one of the most exciting wine countries in the world.
This city in the heart of Brazil’s wine country is Brazil’s wine capital. Bento Goncalves is a quiet city. In this city, they make furniture
Wine regions have much in common with each other. There are ‘poster signs’ in the form of a bunch of grapes indicating the wine routes, as well as those listing the names of wineries with arrows pointing to their direction. Large area maps featuring specific winery locations are also common and tastefully presented.
Here people breathe, eat, sleep and live wine. On any given day it is hard not to come across locals visiting their wineries. The many restaurants also feature local wines, displaying the signs of some of the 30 or more wineries whose wine they patronize.
Most of the Vale dos Vinhedos belongs to Bento Goncalves. However, two other cities, Garibaldi and Monte Belo do Sul, also lay claim to part of it. The Vale dos Vinhedos is currently the only approved ‘Wine Appellation’ in Brazil, however one more, Pinto Bandeira, is also hoping to have this ‘quality assurance and regulation’ as part of its makeup.
The wines of this area range from jug wines made from Niagara, Isabella and other Labrusca grapes such as those that can be purchased from an excellent winery called Strapazzon, to the very fine vinifera wines of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Muscat, Alicante Bouchet, Touriga Nacional and many more.
If there is one grape that grows best so far in this area, first prize would have to be given to the Merlot. As Malbec grows well in Argentina and Cabernet Sauvignon seems to be the grape of Chile, Merlot is establishing itself as the prime grape of this region.
The wine produced by many of the wineries seems to have a particular old world freshness and leanness. It offers strength without sacrificing elegance and offers fruit that melds with other nuances of spice, chocolate, cassis and flowers. Most winemakers describe their Merlot as being the child of both new and old worlds. The wineries range in size from the large Miolo to the smaller Pizzato and Lidio Carrero. They share two traits however — passion and excellence.
Like other wine areas, Bento Goncalves offers other products besides wine. There is, of course, the majestic scenery as well as food products such as cheese (sheep cheese is amazing), beef, pork, poultry, clothing and vegetables. There are also some superb hotels such as the Five Star Marriott Hotel and Spa Do Vinho and the Villa Michelon.
It is very apparent that this region will soon have a place amongst the great wine regions of the world.