The Wines and Wineries of Brazil

Amazing wineries in a surprising wine region


Don Giovanni

While relatively young, having been founded in 1979, Don Giovanni has the feel of a more mature property. The nice, 18 hectare (44.5 acres) estate vineyards surround the ivy cloaked winery.

The estate here is a modest but complete tourist attraction with restaurant, guest rooms and a nicely appointed tasting room. The wines show good quality of base material and are freshly fruited, but could use further work in the cellars. Production here is modest with something around 14,000 cases a year.

Top Wine Tasted: NV Don Giovanni Dona Bita Brut 90pts

See all the wines

Don Guerino

One of the more interesting wineries I visited in Brazil, Don Guerino, is a baby. Founded only in 2004, the winery is outside of the main viticultural areas, though it is still in Serra Gaucha. The winery holds 50 hectares (124 acres) of estate vineyard. Unusual for the region, the vineyards here are devoted to premium varietals.

The wines are rather fruit-driven, in as much as these wines can tend to be. They do have a rather distinct terroir expression balancing out the fruit. These are attractive wines with a minimally noticeable winemaking signature.

Top Wines Tasted: 2011 Don Guerino Merlot 89pts

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Perini is a family owned winery and a large one at that. Production of about 125,000 12-bottle cases comes from 92 hectares (225 acres) of estate fruit that is supplemented by purchased fruit. The winery is 40-years-old, but the family has been privately making wine for much longer. They successfully navigated the transition from producing a little bit of wine back in 1928, to high volume, bulk table wine production beginning in 1970, and then finally to becoming fine wine producers over the past two decades.

The wines at Perini are rather attractive, though many have yet to shake a certain rusticity that seems rooted in the history here. That history is not exclusive to the past, as evidenced by the continuing focus on large format, hybrid 'table' wines that are produced here to satisfy the domestic market. Still, there is enough to like with Perini's wines that I think they are worth watching.

Top Wines Tasted: 2010 Casa Perini Marselan 89pts

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Founded in 1931, Aurora is Brazil's largest winery and most important cooperative. A complete line of wines is produced here under the Aurora and related labels, with most being typical of a large producer such as this.

Well priced in relative terms, the wines tend to be light and fruity, with some solid performances by the Moscatos, in particular. These are fine wines. Those produced from Vitis Vinifera account for less than one third of the total production, which stands at around 4.6 million 12-bottle cases.

Top Wine Tasted: Aurora Moscatel Espumante Rosé 88pts

See all the wines


Garibaldi produces mainly sparking wine. Perfectly serviceable Moscatos are the highlights of production here. The remaining wines tend to focus on entry level products including quite a few that are produced from hybrid grapes. Many tend to be on the sweeter side.

Founded in 1931, Garibaldi is a cooperative that relies on 350 families farming over 800 hectares (2000 acres) to produce some 1 million 12-bottle cases a year. The production is primarily sold in Chile and domestically in Brazil. For the style of wine they produce, Garibaldi proves quite capable. Their sweet sparkling wines would win many fans here in the U.S.

Top Wine Tasted: NV Garibaldi Espumante Moscatel 86pts

See all the wines

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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: nicog
    367854 4

    I was surprised that this list didn't include Villa Francioni in Santa Caterina, which in my opinion has one of the most advanced wineries I have seen (been in some of the best in California) and its wine, although expensive particularly for that part of the world, paralleled some of the top Californian wines at that price range.

    Aug 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Hi Nicog,
    I didn't make it to Santa Caterina, just to the regions around Bento Goncalves. I hope to visit Santa Caterina and Campahna on my next visit!

    Aug 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

  • Snooth User: Rodperri
    353218 3

    The problem with "good" Brazilian wine is that it is overpriced. A 2006 Lidio Carraro will sell for around US$ 100,00 in Brazil. For this money one can buy a decent Brunello or Barolo, as well as very good Chilean and Argentinean wines.

    Aug 14, 2012 at 2:45 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Thanks for the comment Rod,

    I can't argue with it. From what I understand the price of many of these wines in Brazil really makes it difficult to compete with the imports. I only tasted the wines, don't even know most of the pricing.

    One point though, if the export market for Brazil improves it should help the domestic wine situation by putting the industry on more stable ground, thereby allowing for the reduction and perhaps eventual elimination of the tariffs that penalize imports, and the wineries themselves, with their increased cash flows could take advantage of certain economies of scale.

    Wishful thinking perhaps, but I did like the wines and hope that they get wider recognition for their quality.

    Aug 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

  • Several years ago I enjoyed a 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon “Marco Luigi” Grande Reserva that was full bodied, fruity and velvety in the mouth. I only know that it came from Southern Brasil. Incidentally, the same house produced a lovely, sparkling white, Tributo Brut, that rivaled the best champagnes I tasted inf France. Sadly, neither was available in the US at the time.

    Aug 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

  • Rodperri is absolutely right, and without the stupidly high taxes, european wines would be even cheaper, making it very hard to compete with. brazilian sparkling wines, white unoaked and light reds can be very interesting and pleasant, but they are expensive, unfortunately...

    Aug 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM

  • Snooth User: Rodperri
    353218 3

    Thanks for the reply Gregory. I certainly hope for your wishful thinking to come through. Wine consumption in Brazil has expanded significantly over the last few years and that in itself is good news as, with market growth comes greater competition and better prices.

    I'd like to make an important point that I loved your article. Especially because of your emphasis on the value of uniqueness and personality, over the expected international style currently adopted by many new world wineries. To me, the most fascinating part of appreciating wines is exactly the discovery of new flavors and experiences.

    Aug 14, 2012 at 6:10 PM

  • Snooth User: PELLEZZANO
    512238 58

    The South of Brazil is better known by its very expensive wines that cannot compete with the imports. Sparkling wines are the king despite the prices are in the sky. GDP by the way mention several sparkling wines. I personally do not find good Brazilian wines that will open my heart without looting my pocket. If you live in Brazil better buy some French or Italian wines.

    Aug 14, 2012 at 6:49 PM

  • Most of this brands it will be available very soon in USA and distributed nationally by Southern Wine and Spirits, the largest distributor in USA that believes Brazilian Wines are very competitive in price & quality! Jancis Robinson, one of the most recognized wine critic in UK said this week in his page on twitter: "YES, I BELIEVE IN BRAZILIAN WINE POTENTIAL!"

    Aug 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

  • Pellezzano probably lives in Brazil, as I do, and is correct about the consumer choice: we are buying more european wines than ever!

    Aug 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM

  • Hello people!
    I agree Brazilian wines are quite expensive within Brazil and if one doesn’t know too much about the issue, buying can be very difficult. We all know that because of the quantity of labels offered, there are more and more ‘stuck in the middle’. Those can be good wines and consumer then should take advantage and search to find out the best cost x pleasure surrounding this level. I mean, it’s possible to find good Brazilian wines on a medium/premium category. In order to catch that, curiosity and time are necessary though.
    Regarding sparkling, it is not true that they are expensive. Find bellow some nice ones at reasonable prices. All them are champenoise and mostly use chardonnay and pinot noir. Show, at least, a bit of complexity and strength.

    Fausto Pizzato Brut R$ 32,60 APROX. US$ 16.00

    Cave Geisse Brut R$ 53,06 aprox. US$ 26.00

    Salton Brut Évidence R$ 48,00 aprox. US$ 24.00

    Dal Pizzol Brut Champenoise R$ 53,06 aprox. US$ 26.00

    Valmarino Brut Champenoise R$ 29,00 aprox. US$ 14.50

    Aug 15, 2012 at 3:35 PM

  • Snooth User: PELLEZZANO
    512238 58

    OK! GDP is right when he mentions sparkling Brazilian wines. If one is not in France you do not need to care much producing sparking wines. Try to find a brut nature in Brazil and you'll need to dig deep to try to find something. Of course if one is looking for a not so expensive sec or demi-sec then go to the South of Brazil.
    If one is used to Taurasi, Primitivo, Falerno del Massico, Greco di Tufo, Falanghina, Aglianico,Solopaca,Asprino di Aversa (interesting wine and interesting way they grow the plant), Cirò Bianco just to mention a few wines coming from the region that produces wine since 1,500 years BC, continue please browsing the imports aisle of your wine shop (if you are in Brazil).

    Aug 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM

  • Snooth User: vinodm28
    551301 2

    What a great post. While production has been declining in most regions for the past ten years other countries have take busy growing. I have not had the opportunity to taste anty Brazilian wine but having read this post I will sample some.if I can find bottles in Italy (I doubt as Italians are like the French: they only stock italian wines) Vincent from

    Aug 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

  • Hello Gregory! Congratulations! And don`t forget to visit São Paulo next time! :-)
    Humberto Leite

    Aug 19, 2012 at 9:04 AM

  • Snooth User: Rodperri
    353218 3

    Gregory, following-up on your article, I went ahead to buy a few bottles from Don Guerino, which I had never tasted before. Indeed, this was a good surprise. I bought a few bottles of the 2011 Reserva Merlot, at a very reasonable US$ 14.00, as well as a couple of their 2007 Gran Reserva Ancellotta and a couple of the 2007 Gran Reserva Teroldego, both wines priced at around US$ 25.00. The Reserva Merlot was a great tip: a very pleasant wine, with good structure. The great surprise came from the 2007 Gran Reserva Ancellotta. What a delicious little wine! I was not familiar with this varietal and came to learn it is common mainly in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.The wine from Don Guerino is a light/medium red, pleasurable and easy to drink and pair. For Brazilian standards, I believe I have found an excellent value with these wines. Thanks for the tip!

    Sep 04, 2012 at 3:22 PM

  • Snooth User: PELLEZZANO
    512238 58

    The 2011 Reserva one can pick for $17 in Brazil. For the other grapes (their origin is Emilia-Romagna and Trentino) $30 will be enough.
    Don Guerino has also some fair sparkling wines (Prosecco, Chardonnay and Moscatel at $12 each). I do not know if GDP tasted them when in the South of Brazil.

    Sep 04, 2012 at 4:34 PM

  • Snooth User: maoistao
    454663 1

    Thanks for talking about Brazilian wine. I spent several weeks in Campanha, a region in the south that borders Uruguay and in Serra Guacha. I will say that I was very impressed with the wines. I just now brought in Lidio Carrera's wines into my restaurant in San Diego. Brazilian wines are unique and the best examples were wines without oak or very little oak. These wines show excellent terroir and the true nature of the Brazilian fruit. One winery that should get recognition is Barcarola in the Serra Guacha, excellent wines! Here is a little post with a brief history of Brazilian wine. Thank you for the great article.

    Sep 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM

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    1331306 37

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  • Most of this brands it will be available very soon in USA and distributed nationally by Southern Wine and Spirits.

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    1379445 33

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    1380229 34

    The problem with "good" Brazilian wine is that it is overpriced. A 2006 Lidio Carraro will sell for around US$ 100,00 in Brazil. For this money one can buy a decent Brunello or Barolo, as well as very good Chilean and Argentinean wines.

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    1380622 37

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    1385782 33

    Most of this brands it will be available very soon in USA and distributed nationally by Southern Wine and Spirits.

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    1390221 33

    The problem with "good" Brazilian wine is that it is overpriced. A 2006 Lidio Carraro will sell for around US$ 100,00 in Brazil. For this money one can buy a decent Brunello or Barolo, as well as very good Chilean and Argentinean wines.

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    1400658 33

    Most of this brands it will be available very soon in USA and distributed nationally by Southern Wine and Spirits.

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  • Hello Gregory! Congratulations! And don`t forget to visit São Paulo next time! :-)
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  • The problem with "good" Brazilian wine is that it is overpriced. A 2006 Lidio Carraro will sell for around US$ 100,00 in Brazil. For this money one can buy a decent Brunello or Barolo, as well as very good Chilean and Argentinean wines.

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