Brazil is the third most important wine producing country in South America after Argentina and Chile. It is still fairly young in comparison to both of these countries, which explains the very limited international exports of its wines.
Main Grapes or styles
Merlot – due to the dampness of the rain in most regions it can be hard to ripen grapes such as Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, so Brazil has fallen on the shoulders of Merlot. Brazil’s best reds are being produced from fleshy, ripe Merlot grapes and are showing great potential.
Chardonnay – is currently Brazil’s saving grace. It is producing white wines that show elegance and balance of fruit and acidity with some oakier examples also. Chardonnay is also produced in sparkling wines which is one of the leading styles produced in the Brazil thanks to the popularity fuelled by the Moet and Chandon winery.
Rio Grande do Sul – found in the very south of Brazil on the border with Argentina. The best sub-regions are Serra Gaucha and Vale dos Vinhedos. Here both white and red wines are produced with Chardonnay being at the forefront.
Climate and its effect on the wines made here
Brazil gets so hot with its tropical climate that in the northeast of the country, in the region of Vale do Sao Francisco, the vineyards will often produce a crop more than once a year. The fair majority of wines are produced in the Rio Grande do Sul region in the south of Brazil on the Argentine border – here it is has a very high rainfall making viticulture difficult. The best vineyards are at higher altitudes and have good vineyard control. Thanks to the heat and altitude of Brazil it can produce a variety of styles from full-bodied reds to dry whites to sparkling wines.