Discovering the wine region of Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is Brazil's most prolific wine-producing state. It is located in the very South of the country along the Uruguayan and Argentinian borders.
The wine regions of Serra Gaucha, Campanha and Vale do Vinhedos can be found in this Part of the country. Soft, light red wines from a range of varieties such as Grape/pinot">Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat are made here.
Rich white wines from Chardonnay and Viognier are also produced. However, it is the fresh, Fruity Sparkling wines made here in the Italian spumante style that have captured the most attention.
Today, Rio Grande do Sul is responsible for around 90 percent of Brazilian wine production, although only a small amount of this is quality wine made from Vitis vinifera grape varieties. Vitis labrusca and Hybrid grape varieties such as Isabella and Concord are better suited to the terroir here and still make up the majority of plantings.
The state lies some 650 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of the city of Sao Paulo and 300km (200 miles) North of the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo. Rio Grande do Sul (which means "great river of the south") is essentially a continuation of the pampas of Argentina and Uruguay.
These are fertile lowlands that consist mainly of low, rolling hills and plains. In the more northern part of the state, the landscapes rise into low mountain ranges that extend northward into the bordering state, Santa Catarina.