CLIMATE, TOPOGRAPHY AND SOILS

In a nation the size of Brazil, it would be impossible to summarize or generalize our terroir characteristics. In fact, over 3,500 kilometers separate Campanha in southern Brazil and Vale do São Francisco, near the equator, two major producing regions in the country.

 

This does not mean that Brazilian wine regions do not to share things in common. In terms of topography, for example, the rugged terrain in Serra Gaúcha, Campos de Cima da Serra and Planalto Catarinense provides excellent drainage. The mountains and valleys are a natural solution to what is considered one of the greatest difficulties of Brazilian winemakers: moisture. These three regions also have the altitude in common, ranging from 400 to 1,400 meters above sea level - another explanation for the elegance of the wines produced there, as grapes ripen slowly. 

 

Campanha and Serra do Sudeste do not depend on this type of topography, as they have lower annual precipitation. The vines are located on gentle hills with constant wind - which contributes to optimal temperature range in the warmer months. They also have the same soil type, of granite or sedimentary origin - different from clay and earth sitting on basalt found in the other regions described above.


 
Southern Brazil has four distinct seasons, so vineyards enjoy plenty of hot summers and cold winters. Yet, important microclimate variations influence the development of wine identity. In Planalto Catarinense, for example, vineyards suffer some oceanic influence, while in Rio Grande do Sul vineyards are molded in temperate climates, marked by heat.

 

The Brazilian region that is an exception to any generalization in relation to the others is Vale do São Francisco. Moreover, it can be said that it has a unique viticulture style in the world. Growing on the plains of northeastern semi-arid region, the vines undergo irrigation processes. The induction of each plant during a certain phase of the natural cycle of the vines allows that, on the same ground, some plants remain dormant while others are laden with grapes. With this type of organization, the wineries located in the area can have two annual harvests of each vine, keeping the quality of the fruit. The sedimentary soils of the São Francisco River, the water source for plantations, help to develop the personality of the northeastern wines.