Drunk by humans for millennia, in more recent times wines of altitude has conquered new frontiers and has steadily become one of Brazil’s newfound specialties
According to data from the Brazilian Wine Institute (Ibravin), 2015 was a record year for growth in Brazil, with exports up by 35%.
As a result of this uplift, one of the subjects attracting increasing attention amongst winemakers and experts alike is the importance of the altitude when it comes to vineyards.
The altitude affects the quality of the final product as, according to wine experts, grapes are strongly influenced by the climatic conditions that surround them.
In the growth cycle of the grape, the most critical period is the last 30 or 40 days – the end of the maturation period. The smoother and more protracted this period is, the better the quality will be. Winemakers suggest that an extra 15 days before harvest can have a magical effect on the wine!
It is in this sense that altitude can be such a positive factor. Cold nights and sunny days are essential for producing quality grapes that, with less chemical intervention and gradual maturation, produce the finer wines.
In Brazil, one of the most successful areas for cultivating high altitude wine is the Santa Catarina plateau. Located in São Joaquim, at a height of 1,300m above sea-level, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay grapes all benefit from the altitude, soil type and climate, resulting in quality wines with distinct flavours.
High altitude wine is gaining increasing recognition as a new breed of the diversified Brazilian wine scene. Have you tried it yet?