Wine tasting…in Brazil

Our  big day out from  Porto Alegre was a  visit to  the wine growing valleys which lie about  about two hours north of the city. As we travelled from the city we passed through miles of industrial parks. The state is rich in mineral resources,  and produces a wide variety of manufactured goods and foodstuffs particuarly cereals.  Listed amongst  the  international  names are  General Motors, Dell, John Deer with   BMW, Audi, Mercedes  showrooms   in plentiful supply.

Our guide a Swiss national who spoke English in the style of ‘Allo Allo’, was friendly and well informed. He reeled off an impressive list of ‘largest in Brazil’ or ‘largest in South America’ operations, named natural resources and listed the work ethic of the people as one of its greatest resources adding the familiar comment  about how the three southern states would be ‘better off’ being independent from the rest of Brazil !

The suburbs gave way to the countryside and soon we were winding through beautiful countryside and up the  wine growing valleys of the plateau. The population of the area is predominantly  Italian community and the buildings reflect this.

We called at a delightful little family run business housed in a typical Italian building, with a pizza oven in the garden.   Our host  explained that the unique climate and soil provided ideal  conditions for  growing  merlot. We professed our ignorance and took a sip and said ‘thats nice’ our quide a wine expert and publisher on the subject must have been incredulous of our ignorance ! Reluctanly we left the idylic location but not before purchasing a bottle of his special merlot multi wrapped in readiness for its journey home to celebrate a friend’s birthday.                                                              A Greater contrast to  our next stop would have been difficult to find.  It was a huge plant with  cellars that currently hold six million bottles. But our guide a student of wine making( I am sure this has a proper name) at the from the local university was no less friendly and obliging, giving us interesting insights into the industry.  For example wine imported from  Chile and Argentina is  cheap in comparision because it is taxed at 4% whereas Brazilian wine is taxed at 40% because it is classed as a luxury item.   Our guide also explained that there is a move to mature wine in  none wood vats so that the taste is of pure fruit. He told us that he has a partner and has already bought some land a distance away at a cost of  4000 Reals per hectare against 400 00Reals  in this area.

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One thought on “Wine tasting…in Brazil

  1. I know what your upto, its a wine tasting holiday really isnt it? thats what reals are for.
    Cheers D

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