Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brazil the Fifth Largest Country in the World does have Vineyards!!! Brazilian wine is on the uptick!...and a little about the Tannat grape!

Tannat is normally found in the Basque-influenced regions of France; grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC. But that's not the only place where it's has an impact. It's Brazil!

Tannat is a big grape. It's tasty...

The Tannat wine is not only tasty its is notable for its very high firm tannin levels and it is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc.....you get dark red fruit, raspberry aromas and it has the ability to age well and works well with a cut of steak and grilled meats
Tannat is not only found in France and Brazil; it is also grown places like Australia, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia, Italy's Puglia and other interesting warmer climate areas like Virginia, USA!

Let’s talk a little about Brazil…

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and it does have vineyards, and it does create wine, with about 1,100 wineries fermenting the juice of grapes which stereotypically come from family-owned farms with an average of about five acres each.

Now why is Brazil big news these days?

Brazil is going to be the host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and recently the it hosted the soccer's high profile 
World Cup!

Essentially, Brazil is in the spotlight like never before. There is a probability that there will be a demand for all things Brazilian – so that surely means wine as well!

Brazil is beginning to export wines that are competing for shelf space in the South America section at our neighborhood wine stores such as Whole Foods and restaurants such as Season’s 52.

So, its fair to say that Brazilian wine is on the uptick. Over the last several years there's been plenty of growth. While Brazil has a moderately large quantity of vineyards, a big portion of them produce table grapes intended for eating while they are fresh, as opposed to grapes grown for wine production, juice production, or for drying into raisins.

So, in essence only some vineyards produce Brazilian wine...

The thing is that Brazil is close to the equator… traditional rules of thumb typecasts most of the Brazil as  incompatible for viticulture, due to the abundant heat and humidity. But most of the wine production of Brazil is focused in the south of the country, away from the equator, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, near the 29th parallel south, which is neighboring to Uruguay and Argentina.

In the area near the 29th parallel south there are alot of of the vineyards. Also the vineyards are located in cooler high and hilly sites, mostly in the Serra Gaúcha region.
It’s interesting to note that while better quality wines (called vinho fino) are produced from the European grapevine; a lot of the vines produced in Brazil are from American or Hybrids. They grow easier; the American and Hybrid rootstocks withstand the climate and growing conditions.

To get an idea of the annual temperatures in Brazil... wine regions range from 12C,54F to 22C,72F and get about 70 inches of rain per year! Yes, you heard right!

Likewise, Brazil is South America's largest economy and it has seen annual wine business triple over the past 10 years but According to FoodBev.com, 2011 and 2012, growth rates slowed dramatically, due to the economy .

The news is the market is likely to remain challenging in the short-term but there are some promising developments such as much better import and export detail; so the long-term outlook is positive.

So we are likely to see more Brazilian wines!

Case in point; Seasons 52 Restaurant chain is carrying two Brazilian wines the Miolo Chardonnay and Perini Macaw Tannat that are part of the selected wines featured for Flights and Flatbreads. Which is a great part of their menu, by the way...

Just so you know; besides the Tannat grape; Here is a list of some Brazilian wineries and grape varietals to look out for :

Wineries: Salton, Pizzato,  Perini,  Miolo,  Lidio Carraro,  Aurora Cellars,  Vinícola, Aurora  and the Vale Wine Company

Grape Varietals: Tannat,  Cabernet Sauvignon, Seyval Blanc,  Touriga Nacional,  Aurora, Ancellotta and Merlot

By all means give them a try and Cheers! Especially for the Olympics and the World Cup!



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