A part of the cultural and historical heritage of Rio Grande do Sul Brazilian state since 2012 and with a strong influence of Italian immigrants who arrived in Serra Gaúcha in mid-1875, Vale dos Vinhedos Brazil [Vineyards Valley] is the main producer of wines and sparkling wines in Brazil. Located in Serra Gaúcha, Rio Grande do Sul state, the region is responsible for about 90% of national bottles, including award-winning labels. The valley encompasses a rural route that covers three municipalities: Monte Belo do Sul, Garibaldi and Bento Gonçalves, which is the biggest one and where most of the tourist route takes place.
About 120 kilometers from the capital Porto Alegre and 120 kilometers from Gramado, Vale dos Vinhedos Brazil is the ideal destination for the practice of wine tourism. The tourist route includes many attractions, such as guided tours of small rural properties, large wineries and family-owned wineries, cheese, biscuit, sweets and jellies warehouses, bistros, handicraft workshops, among other places intended for leisure, gastronomy and appreciation of the local culture.
There are producers of excellent quality wines spread throughout these three cities, but also in others municipalities in the mountain region. For example Flores da Cunha, Farroupilha and the land of Pinto Bandeira. In addition, Caxias do Sul and Carlos Barbosa.
But what makes Vale dos Vinhedos so unique in terms of the quality of Brazilian wines? The awarded and world-renowned terroir from Serra Gaúcha. Vineyards Valley has fertile soil and a temperature conducive to the cultivation of grapes and in 2002 the site was recognized as a Geographical Indication, being able to grant wines that meet the standards established in the Technical Specifications Notebook, the Indication of Origin (IP) seal. As of 2012, with the recognition of the Valley as a Denomination of Origin (DO), in order to bear this classification, products must obey more specific rules in relation to grape cultivation and wine making.
The main grapes found in the region are:
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- White Moscato
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot Noir
- Riesling Italic
- Riesling Rhenish
- Sauvignon Blanc
How to get to Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil
The distance from Rio Grande do Sul state, Porto Alegre, to Bento Gonçalves (where there is a largest offer of accommodation) is 122 km – about two hours long by car ride. From Gramado, the distance to Bento Gonçalves is approximately 120 km, which can be covered in two hours also by car. At Aeroporto Internacional Salgado Filho (at Porto Aegre) there is a wide range of car rental operators.
Once in Bento Gonçalves, there are some possible paths to Vale dos Vinhedos. One of the most recommended is the ERS-444, also called Estrada da Vindima, already extensively mapped by navigation applications and thoroughly signposted.
Best time to visit Vale dos Vinhedos Brazil
Vale dos Vinhedos is good for visitation all year round. It is possible to visit the region in any season. Autumn and spring will always have milder temperatures. But despite being a region usually related to the cold, the high season there occurs mostly at suemmer.
It is that from January to March happens the Vintage, the great harvest of the grapes. At this time, the vines are full of green and there are several parties to celebrate the lush period of harvesting. Many properties open the space for treading the grapes and the restaurants usually have special schedules and menus.
- Pros of visiting it in winter: ideal vibe for romance, wine tastings combine too much with the cold and the mountain climate. The European landscape with dry foliage and unforgettable climate is exquisite, ideal for those who enjoy winter. Prepare for intense cold and very low temperatures.
- Pros of visiting it in the summer: relaxed atmosphere, special parties, picnics at wineries (harvest is the best of them) and being able to enjoy the infrastructure of excellent hotel chains and SPAs in the region.
The must-see wineries
Valduga is the largest tourism complex in Vale dos Vinhedos: it has a winery, the Maria Valduga restaurant and a lodge, with 24 individual cottages. Visitors can take a break and spend a few wonderful days there. Valduga, in fact, is a mega winery, with amazing guided tours and the tastings always offers iconic wines and sparkling produced in Vale dos Vinhedos. In the Night Tour, it is possible to visit the underground cellars, taste a red wine directly from the oak barrels and feast an authentic Italian dinner.
Miolo is the largest wine exporter in Brazil, with productions sites in Rio Grande do Sul and other Brazilian states. There are 950 hectares of own vineyards, from which the raw material for the production of around 10 million liters of wine a year comes from, sold to more than 32 countries. So, if the idea is to know the process of producing wine on a large scale, this is the ideal place. Next to the winery is the Wine Garden, a mix of wine bar and park, with drinks and wines, snacks, picnics, lunches, all in the open with a very cool vibe.
Casa Perini is an icon of the city of Farroupilha, the capital of Moscatel. By the way, do not miss their awarded Moscatel sparkling wine. The winery is beautiful and offers a tour that pleases 10 out of 10 visitors: the Bike Tour Experience, where visitors cycle between the vineyards and make a strategic stops with a picnic and, of course, bottles and bottles of wine.
One of the classic attractions of Bento Gonçalves, the Aurora winery is a heritage of the Italian colonization. The company is an association of more than a thousand cooperative families and winery produces around 200 labels. It is the largest and most awarded winery in Brazil. The tours start every 15 minutes and take the visitor through the cooperative underground with tanks and barrels. The company is responsible for brands such as Marcus James, Saint Germains, Keep Cooler and Sucos Casa São Bento. At the end of the (free) tour, visitors will have tasted 15 labels, between wines, sparkling wines and grape juices. No need to schedule.
Geisse is an emblematic winery in Pinto Bandeira, a neighboring municipality of Bento Gonçalves, in Serra Gaúcha. Further than producing excellent wines and even more sparkling wines, they have a very famous and popular garden, like a park mixed with wine bar service, were visitors can spend a lovely day tasting wines by the glass, by the bottle, snacks and so on. It is a great place to visit with family, friends or for a romantic meal. Do not miss Geisse Terroir Experience tour, a mini-adventure through the winery, discovering its terroir and its perfect corners, with several pit stops for sparkling wine tasting.
Peterlongo Winery was the first to produce champagne in Brazil and the only one outside France that can use the term “champagne” on the label. For more than 100 years, the winery has been producing sparkling wine using the “champenoise” method, made with selected grapes and following strict production rules. This is one of the reasons the brand is able to use the exclusive nomenclature. The castle where the winery’s headquarters is located was built in the 1930s with the same architectural style as the French region of Champagne. The tour goes through a well-assembled museum with the history, parts and old machinery of the winery production, going through the underground cellars (the first one in Brazil) where the tanks and barrels are displayed, until arriving at the bottles in “remuage”, when visitors can see the long fermentation process that gives sparkling wines their unique characteristics.
A visit to the Salton Winery is one of the must-see programs in Vale dos Vinhedos Brazil. Considered one of the largest producers of sparkling wines and wines in Brazil, Salton has more than 100 years of history (founded in 1910) and to this day remains a family winery founded by Italian immigrants. It is located in Vale do Rio das Antas, one of the tourist routes of Bento Gonçalves (10/15 km from the city center).
Salton has around 17 different wines in its portfolio, with the sparkling Lúcia Canei Salton Brut Rosé (100% Pinot Noir) being one of the great highlights, with high value and just a few bottles produced each year. What makes a visit to Salton Winery attractive is the great tourism infrastructure, from the suspended platforms that make it possible to watch all the production processes, to the friendliness of the guides. There are two main itineraries to visit Salton Winery: the Traditional and the Evolution Tour. Occasionally there are themed tours, such as the Winter Special, Wine and Chocolate or Sparkling Special.
This charming region of Brazil has all the attractions – and bottles! – to create unforgettable moments, and Go Together has all the knowledge to offer a perfect itinerary for your company. Contact us right now and discover the best of Vale dos Vinhedos.