The Serra Gaúcha wine region is one of the most important wine regions in Brazil. This region, which stands out for its red wines produced with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties and its white wines produced with the Chardonnay grape, continues to have a prosperous development, which augurs a great future for Serra Gaúcha wines.
The Serra Gaúcha wine region is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, bordering Uruguay.
This wine region is characterized by sloping vineyards in mountain valleys. This allows the breezes to moderate the warm temperatures of the region, thus allowing the vines to develop optimally. In addition, the breezes help to make the region a little less humid, something that could be a problem due to diseases that could affect the vines.
On the other hand, the soil is composed mainly of volcanic basalt, and has nutrients such as iron, magnesium and calcium that help make the vines even more resistant to diseases.
Because Brazil is still a relatively new wine-producing region, it currently has no specific national or regional programs to promote wine sustainability. However, the Serra Gaúcha region is able to obtain organic certification for its wines, thanks to Decree 6323. This decree, intended for all agricultural activities in Brazil, aims to have a strong impact on the country's winemaking.
The most interesting aspects of this decree, which can give added value to Brazilian viticulture by taking it down the path of sustainability, have some very interesting points that deserve to be highlighted:
Most Planted Red Grape Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir
Most Planted White Grape Varieties: Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc
In this prosperous tropical climate region, the wines produced from the red varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and the white variety Chardonnay stand out.
Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to have a fruity profile with less tannins, due to the particular tropical climate of the region. Among its notes, it is possible to find black cherries or blackberries. On the other hand, Merlot wines also have a fruity profile, oriented towards red fruits, cherries or even plum.
Finally, white wines produced with the Chardonnay variety tend to develop notes oriented towards tropical fruits such as yellow peach or papaya, while acidity is usually low.
The Serra Gaúcha wine region is one of the most important regions among those located in Rio Grande do Sul, and therefore has a rich history.
It all started in 1875, when the first Italian immigrants began to practice first agriculture and then viticulture in the Vale dos Vinhedos sub-region, located in Serra Gaúcha. These first productions were destined for local consumption.
However, this reality changed in the 1980s, when the Vale dos Vinhedos winegrowers began to market their grape production mainly to large regional wineries. For this reason, the small remainder was used to produce wine for family consumption.
Until the 1980s, the winegrowers of Vale dos Vinhedos sold their production to the large wineries in the region. The small amount of wine they produced was destined for family consumption.
Finally, a decade later this situation took an unexpected turn, when wine sales began to fall, and therefore the price of grapes began to decrease. This was the starting point for winegrowers to take the initiative to produce their own wine and market it directly, thus increasing profits. For this purpose, the Association of Fine Wine Producers of Vale dos Vinhedos, known by the acronym Aprovale, was created in 1995.