European Wine Traditions in Southern Brazil

By October 11, 2017Dining

Happy Wine Wednesday! Our oenological journey today brings us to the Serra Gaúcha area of Southeast Brazil. Located in the Rio Grande do Sul region, winemaking here is a unique blend of German and Italian customs. Immigration from Western Europe in the 19th century heavily influenced the future of this delightful terroir. You’ll find many traditional aspects of European culture here. For instance, the traditional wattle and daub, black and white architecture of Bavaria. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to hear Italian spoken. Along with their native language and architecture, settlers here brought with them centuries-old wine making know-how.


Vinícola Salton

Opened in 1910, this winery is now in its third generation of being a family-run production. Visitors are encouraged to take an immersive look at the winemaking process via aerial walkways placed throughout the winery. High above the steel tanks and oak barrels, guests can explore with ease and learn more about the fascinating process of fermentation and how modern and traditional techniques are combined to create the perfect glass of wine.

Be sure to try Exclusivity – an interesting blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Yellow in color, tasters will discover a fusion of bread yeast, barley, spices, fruit, and honey.



The on-site laboratory ensures the highest quality is maintained at all times. Three lines of wine are produced here: Classic, Premium, and Dionysus. Grapes are grown at an altitude of 800 meters, and the cool yet sunny climate provides the perfect environment for grapes. Classica and Premium lines can be enjoyed any time, but if you’re fortunate enough to come across a bottle of the Dionysus line, we highly recommend you snag it. It is produced in limited quantities and only if the grapes harvested are in ideal condition.

The lush green vineyards of Ravanello. Photo: Ravanello Facebook.

The lush green vineyards of Ravanello. Photo: Ravanello Facebook.


Geisse Family

Hop on a 4×4 and enjoy a guided tour as you cruise through rows upon rows of vines. This winery is open seven days a week which makes scheduling a tour around a busy vacation schedule easy. If you happen to be an eco-tourist, you will appreciate this winery’s ban on chemicals. Wine connoisseurs will revel in the small harvests which allow the winemakers to pay close attention to quality. When you take a tour, be sure to try the Cave Amadeu – the Geisse family’s version of sparkling wine. Additionally, Cave Geisse should top your list. It features the best the terroir has to offer. Oh! And while you’re enjoying a sip, don’t forget to ask for a homemade empanada!

Wouldn't it be incredible to go on a ride through this beautiful vineyard? Photo: Geisse Family Facebook.

Wouldn’t it be incredible to go on a ride through this beautiful vineyard? Photo: Geisse Family Facebook.


Vinícola Aurora

Interestingly, this winery was founded by not one family but sixteen, way back in 1931. Over 80 years, 12 brands, and 1,100 families later, this wine cooperative is now the largest in Brazil. You should definitely ask to sample the Aurora line. Since the winery’s founding, this line has only been produced eight times. That’s because it’s made from only the highest quality grapes and only if the harvest was particularly good. In short, this line is truly the crème de la crème.

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