The drawing was done by a Ukrainian illustrator who lives in Ireland. What he portrays, albeit in surrealist traits, is a scene from the Campanha Gaúcha: a vineyard surrounded by orange plantations where a red van, model 1972, takes flight coupled to a combination of balloon and parachute. “The label tells a little bit of our history,” said winemaker Anthony Derricarrere, 40, one of the winery’s founding partners. The van was used by his grandfather to sell fruit throughout the southern region of the country. The production of citrus was what set the family in Rosário do Sul (RS), on a 400 hectare property, seven of which are vineyards. With a collection of 15 varieties of grapes whose planting started in 2002, they supply all the raw material used by the winery to produce innovative and high quality wines, always at fair prices. Current production is 30,000 bottles, in eight labels.
For almost a decade, they have been pleasing not only critics but great chefs. Alex Atala, from DOM, included Cabernet Sauvignon Salamanca do Jarau in its tasting menu. The letters from Cipriani, at Copacabana Palace, and from the historic Fazenda Capoava, in Itu (SP), also offer wines that were born from the boldness of the enologist trained in Bento Gonçalves (RS) and who has already worked in internships with Robert Mondavi, in California, and vintages in the Bordeaux region of France. “When I came back from the United States, I had to relearn everything. The climate of Napa Valley is desert and the wines there need a long time to get good. Here they have sweeter, softer tannins,” Derricarrere said. “We seek subtlety, delicacy. And Campanha Gaúcha proved to be an exceptional region to supply grapes with these characteristics.”
ORANGE Among the varieties he grows is Petit Manseng, originally from the same region of France from which the Derricarrere emigrated. It yielded one of the winery’s recent successes: the white Marie Gabi, which has just hit the market in its third harvest, at R$72. “Nobody had bottled this grape in Brazil. In 2020, we sold 2,200 bottles. This year there will be 4,500”, said commercial director and partner Julio Gostisa. For him, the wine “reminiscent of Chardonnay mixed with Riesling”. Petit Manseng will come in two new products: an orange and a fortified wine, with no release date yet. Until May, a red Bordeaux blend (Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvigon) will be on the market. “We have selected the best barrels for this wine, which will express the full potential of the terroir,” said Derricarrere. While the novelties do not arrive, it is worth trying at least the three that marked the history of the winery: the R&D red, the Salamanca do Jarau and the Marie Gabi.
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