Winemaking in Brazil took off like a rocket! After years of Western colonization, Italian immigrants settled in southern Brazil near the Rio Grande do Sul in 1875. Only nine years later, Brazil was producing over 8 million liters of wine. At first, the wine was mass-produced and relatively low quality. In the 1960s and 1970s, growers began shifting their focus from quantity to quality.
In 1998, this quality minded movement culminated with the creation of the Brazilian Wine Institute (Ibravin), which has become the forum for discussions about practices, regions, quality and other industry topics. While much of the wine produced in Brazil is still sweet wine aimed at domestic consumption, international varietals like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tannat have recently been more widely planted.
The spice and body of Brazilian wines are a perfect marriage with the varied flavors and textures found in picadinho, a meat and vegetable dish popular in the Southeast.