Brazil: The Next Sparkling Wine Destination
Sparkling wines are generally associated with the Old World wine regions, like France, Spain, and Italy, which is fair because they’ve been around for absolutely ever. The cool thing about the modern wine industry is that there are countries all over the world that are gearing up their own production and putting their name in the hat for the New World best wines.
One of these countries is Brazil, and it’s building a reputation for some of the best sparkling wine in the entire world. Bubbly wine is usually linked to celebrations and special occasions, and if there’s one thing Brazilians are known for, it’s their ability to turn anything into a fantastic celebration!
However, the sparkling wines they produce can’t just be good because they’re fun; Brazil has been combining winemaking with technological advancement and gorgeous grapes to truly create some of the best bubbly the world has seen.
A lot of this has to do with the terroir of the country, especially in the extreme south of Brazil where the first bubbly wine laboratory was stationed and run by an Italian immigrant named Manoel Peterlongo in 1913. He found that the region’s characteristics- basaltic soil and higher altitudes- made for some pretty beautiful wines. It was Peterlongo’s discovery of early-harvesting the white grapes which preserved acidity that led to the foundation of Brazil’s sparkling wines. Although sparkling wine is made all over Brazil, it is still the Serra Gaucha region, the original location in the extreme south of the country, that is the pillar of the sparkling wine industry of Brazil.
The most common grapes found in Brazil’s bubbly are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Italian Riesling, which does a lot to preserve that bright acidity we love in a sparkling wine. Winemakers still use the traditional Charmat method of fermentation but it’s the wide variety of grapes and unique regional terroirs that allow Brazilian wineries to create a plethora of flavor profiles.
Brazilian brands dominate their own market, with 80% of the sparkling wines sold in the country being domestic. Many of the highest quality are being compared to that of Italy and France, which is a recognition of supreme honor.