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Serra Gaucha Wine

Serra Gaucha is a Brazilian wine region in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where Brazil meets Uruguay. Its name is apt: the landscape here is characterized by low mountain ranges (serras) and populated by gauchos, the cowboys of the Brazilian Pampas.

Small landholdings of just a few hectares are the norm in Serra Gaucha, which makes co-operative winemaking almost a necessity. The cost of buying and maintaining winemaking equipment is considerable, so local vignerons pool their resources and invest in shared, co-operative wineries (a practice which has proved very successful in southern France and various parts of Italy). It was through similar collaborative efforts that a group of Serra Gaucha winemakers successfully campaigned for the creation of Vale do Vinhedos DO, Brazil's first wine appellation.

Serra Gaucha's terroir is characterized by the region's altitude and latitude, while the local culture is tangibly influenced by the immigrant populations from Germany and Italy. Porto Alegre is the state capital and is, as its name implies, a harbor town. It lies at the eastern edge of the Serra Gaucha winelands, and from there the land rises from sea level to more than 2500ft (760m) at Caixas do Sul, the state's second city and local wine capital. The altitude and mountainous terrain here are vital to the area's suitability for viniculture. Without their cooling effect, the latitude here (30 degrees south) would combine with the coastal air to create an environment so hot and humid that healthy vine growth would falter, and fungal diseases and rot of all kinds would thrive.

Although German migrants began arriving here in the 1820s, there are still a number of locals here who speak 'Riograndenser Hunsrukisch', a dialect of German now almost unique to the Rio Grande do Sur area. The Italian descendants have also maintained traces of their linguistic heritage, and can sometimes be heard speaking Tailan, a dialect formed from a mixture of the local Portuguese and various dialects from northern Italy.

The local cuisine and architecture show significant Italian influences, and Italy is largely to thank for the birth of effective viticulture here in the late 19th century. Even the grape varieties which first took off here were Italian (Barbera and Trebbiano among them), although these have now largely been supplanted by international varieties of French origin: Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

As is the case in most of Brazil's wine regions (all of which, with the exception of the Vale do Sao Francisco, are here in the south), sparkling wines are the specialty of Serra Gaucha. Many are made in the Italian foaming spumante style, but the popularity of French champagne terminology has now led to Brazilian sparkling wines being labeled as brut or even extra brut (dry or extra dry).

Although Caixas do Sul is the Serra Gaucha's administrative and commercial epicenter (it also hosts the biennial Festa da Uva harvest festival), nearby Bento Goncalves is arguably the viticultural capital, and is widely viewed as the wine capital of Brazil. The national Rota do Vinho wine trail passes through the town as it winds up the vineyard-strewn hillsides.

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We found 371 wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Miolo Lote 43, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot $30 14806
Salton Talento Tinto, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot $25 20565
Miolo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Pinot Noir $13 30509
Salton Desejo Merlot, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Merlot $25 31869
Miolo Merlot Terroir, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Merlot $29 34970
Miolo Cuvee Giuseppe Red Blend, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot $18 35711
Casa Valduga 130 Brut, Vales dos Vinhedos, Brazil Chardonnay - Pinot Noir $29 35975
Salton Volpi Cabernet Sauvignon, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon $13 38779
Salton Prosecco Brut, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Glera (Prosecco) $11 39984
Miolo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon $11 42763
Casa Valduga Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Vales dos Vinhedos, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon $32 46426
Miolo Cuvee Tradition Brut, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Chardonnay - Pinot Noir $15 46426
Casa Valduga Premium Merlot, Vales dos Vinhedos, Brazil Merlot $15 48769
Salton Moscatel Espumante Branco Doce, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Muscat $8 50272
Miolo Brut Millesime, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Chardonnay - Pinot Noir $23 50793
Salton Brut, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Rare White Blend $10 51342
Salton Classic Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon $8 51342
Vinicola Aurora Moscatel, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Muscat $10 53063
Salton Ouro Reserva Brut, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Rare White Blend $13 54936
Geisse 'Cave Geisse' Brut, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Chardonnay - Pinot Noir $25 56848
Boscato Reserva Merlot, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Merlot $13 64059
Miolo Cuvee Tradition Brut Rose, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil Chardonnay - Pinot Noir $15 64059
Salton Classic Reserva Especial Merlot, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Merlot $6 65006
Boscato Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Serra Gaucha, Brazil Cabernet Sauvignon $18 67915
Salton Flowers Branco Demi-Sec, Serra Gaucha, Brazil N/A $8 67915
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