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Vale dos Vinhedos

Viticultural area (valley of vineyards) in Brazil; see there.

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.

In the meantime, there have been great improvements in viticulture and technology that have led to internationally recognised sparkling, white and red wines. Last but not least, the World Cup held in Brazil in June/July 2014 contributed to this. The Lidio Carraro winery is the official supplier of the World Cup with its "Faces" line. The red wine is designed in the style of a football team made up of 11 grape varieties. Other well-known producers are Casa Valduga, Cooperativa Vinícola Aurora, Cooperativa Vinícola Garibaldi, Domno, Miolo, Pizzato, Salton, ViniBrasil, Vinícola Basso and Vinícola Perini. Viticulture is mainly practised in the more temperate zones farther from the equator. The largest area, with around 70% of the vineyard area, is the state of Rio Grande do Sul in the hill country around Bento Gonçalves and Garribaldi. Above all, these are the areas of Serra Gaúcha and Frontera. as well as, in the south, the area of Vale dos Vinhedos (Valley of Vineyards), which has been origin-controlled since 2007. The latter was cultivated by Italian...

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