PROJECT BRAZIL

Friday, February 19, 2021

Recently I saw that Wine Intelligence had a report for sale, on wine consumption in Brazil. At $6,000 it was way outside my budget, however the “teaser” for it was very interesting:  

“An increasing proportion of Brazilian adults are entering the market, with the monthly wine drinking population increasing by 7 million since 2018”.

That is “none too dusty” an increase, so given what the Chinese Government has done to our wine exports, we should definitely be investigating the potential of Brazil as a viable export market. Currently the Brazilian wine market is around 350 million litres per annum, of which about 100 million is imported wine. Their imports are from Chile 39%, Argentina 15%, 42% from across Europe and 0.5% from Australia. The imports at present are 79% red wine, 19% white wine and 2% Rosé. It is expected that the Rosé volumes will increase over the next few years, in line with the growth that Rosé is experiencing across the globe.

When you take into account that 30% of all the wine being consumed is being imported, the considerable growing number of wine drinkers and the fact that it is the largest market for imported wines in South America, Australian winemakers should definitely be looking at this market.

With sales of around 200 million litres of domestic wine, the Brazilian wine industry is growing apace with the imports. Winemaking in Brazil began in the 1870s with the arrival of Italian migrants. Initial attempts to grow Vitis vinifera grapes failed so they switched to Vitis labrusca.

They began to really expand a hundred years later in the 1970s when multi-national companies, such as Bacardi and Moët & Shandon, began making wine from Vitis vinifera varieties there, as well as updating the technology and practices. Today domestic sparkling wine outsells imported sparkling wine/champagne and is highly regarded by Brazilian wine drinkers.

Ninety percent of the wine is produced in the six wine growing regions within the State of Rio Grande do Sul. Most of the wines are made from the usual “classic” European grape varieties as well as Prosecco. There is very little if any experimentation with emerging varieties occurring. This fact could work well to Australia’s advantage IF we were to have a professional, well-funded, government supported, promotional campaign, spearheaded by Shiraz and supported by a number of emerging varieties that are not, or are rarely seen, in the Brazilian wine market – i.e. a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

At the same time Brazil does export some of its production. Their limited wine exports are mainly focused on their highly regarded sparkling wines. Their main export markets are Paraguay (64%), USA, Colombia, UK and China; with the USA (where sparkling wine sales are currently growing) and China being their main target markets.

A recent Rabobank report suggested that Mexico, Brazil, Poland and Nigeria are all wine markets with considerable development potential.

Just like in the early 2000s when most winemakers rubbished the potential of the Chinese market, today, there will be plenty who will disregard or pooh-pooh the potential of Brazil. Well, time will tell and we shall see how we track in a decade’s time.

In the meantime, have a great week and drink some great Aussie wines.

Cheers!  #chooseaustralianwines

This Week's Wine Review:

While I enjoy a good sparkling wine, especially a sparkling red (a strictly Aussie wine style), in the whites, I have found that sparkling Riesling hasn’t really "floated my boat”, as I find them just a tad to acidic and sharp. The natural acidity in Riesling tends to make a bubbly Riesling simply too sharp for my taste buds.

However, I have just come across a sparkling Riesling which I must say is “the exception that proves the rule”. It is the divine, REILLYS WINES 2020 WATERVALE CLARE VALLEY CUVÉE RIESLING.

I have been a long-term fan of the Reillys Clare Valley wines, especially their “Dry Grown” (unirrigated) wines, with their Old Bush Vine Grenache (these vines were planted in 1919), being one of my favourite Grenache due to its depth, flavour concentration and sheer oomph! I can’t wait for the 2019 (100th Anniversary) Old Bush Vine Grenache to be released. I tasted it in tank as it was finishing fermentation and it was breathtaking.

Another superb wine of theirs is the RCV ‘Epitaph’ Shiraz which is just so utterly rich and intense.

Now getting back to their Riesling, they are renowned for their still Rieslings with the 2018 being awarded with the Winestate Magazine trophy for “Riesling of the Year 2019”.  So it should have been no real surprise that their 2020 CUVÉE RIESLING was such a glorious wine. It is light vibrant yellow in colour, has a great lively mousse and an attractive bouquet which is closer to the sweet plum/peach spectrum with just a dash of citrus rather than the usual dominant citrus aromas.

On the front palate there is a hint of fruit sweetness which beautifully subdues the normal searing acidity of a sparkling Riesling. It presents a gorgeous mouthful of bright, lively peach and lime flavours with a divine and refreshing finish that lingers. OH YUM! This bubbly is TRULY MAGNIFICENT!!!

Until next week, have a great week, enjoy excellent wines, like this one, and remember to #chooseaustralianwine

Cheers!

Winery Link: www.reillyswines.com.au