Colonisation of the vast land in South America began in the mid-16th century by the Portuguese, who planted the first vines in the Sao Paulo region in 1532. In 1626, the Jesuits came and planted Spanish vines in Grande do Sul. But after the destruction of the Jesuit missions, viticulture was abandoned again. The oenologist Auguste de St. Hilaire had already strongly recommended in 1800 that European grape varieties be planted in the south on the border with Uruguay, but this was ignored for almost 200 years. Around 1840, the hybrid grape Isabella was introduced into the Rio Grande region. Although it only produced simple wines, it tolerated the climate. A significant development in viticulture did not occur until 1875, when Italian immigrants brought their native vines with them. Because of the difficult climate, people experimented with many grape varieties, but it was not until after the First World War that vinifera varieties were also used. Large international multinationals started new initiatives in the 1970s, such as Bacardi-Martini, Cinzano, Heublein, Martini & Rossi, Moët et Chandon (Chandon Brazil winery), Domecq and Seagram.