Italian Immigrants and Brazilian Winemaking

Italian immigrants play a significant role in Brazilian winemaking history. Giuseppe Miolo was one of the thousands of Italian immigrants who crossed the Atlantic Ocean searching for opportunities in Brazil. The Italian Giuseppe Miolo was born in Piombino Dese, in Veneto, and his passion for grapes and wine was ancient. He arrived in Brazil in 1897 and started working in viticulture in Brazil.

The Miolo Family and Lot 43

Giuseppe Miolo acquired a plot of land in Bento Gonçalves, a municipality recently formed by Italian immigrants in the southern region of Brazil. The lot purchased by the Miolo family had only 24 hectares and was known as Lot 43, where the first denomination of Brazilian origin, Vale dos Vinhedos, is currently located.

The Early Years and Grape Varieties

Initially, the Miolo family started to cultivate American and hybrid grape varieties. In the ’70s, encouraged by international groups, Miolo began cultivating vinifera varieties from Europe, such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sémillon, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Economic Crisis and the Formation of Grupo Miolo

At the end of the 1980s, the economic crisis mainly affected the wine sector, and for two years in a row, large companies stopped buying the production combined with farmers. The Miolo family, for many years, based their business on selling grapes to third parties. With no other way out, Giuseppe Miolo’s grandsons, Darcy and his brothers Paulo and Antônio, founded Grupo Miolo and began to sell their wines commercially.

The First Production of Wines by Grupo Miolo

The first production of wines by the Grupo Miolo was harvested on the only plot of land the family-owned, plot 43, purchased by his grandfather Giuseppe Miolo in 1897. Grupo Miolo has four vineyards of its own: Adega Miolo, Adega Seival, Adega Almadén, and Adega Terranova. The first three wineries are in the Rio Grande do Sul, while the Terranova winery is in Vale do São Francisco, in Bahia.

The Growth and Success of Grupo Miolo

Today, Grupo Miolo is marketed in more than 30 countries and is the largest exporter of Brazilian wine, with an average production of 10 million liters per year in more than 1000 hectares of vineyards. Grupo Miolo’s first wine was made from the Merlot grape from the exceptional 1991 harvest. Delivered only 8,000 bottles to the market in 1994, and thus a new stage in Grupo Miolo began.

Modernization and Expansion

Still, in the 90s, there was a radical decision on the part of Grupo Miolo. In the meantime, the old vineyards of Lot 43 were uprooted and replaced by modern vineyards, with certified seedlings cultivated according to the best winemaking techniques in the world.

The Influence of Michel Rolland

For almost ten years, the group had the advice of the famous French winemaker Michel Rolland. The partnership was crucial. Rolland defended new management in the field, pruning to lower yields or increase the bunches’ exposure to the sun’s heat. He also helped the team learn the different terroirs and the best grapes in each of them. During this period, the company invested in improving its vineyards and wines, expanding production, cutting-edge technology, and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. In less than 30 years, Miolo has become a reference for quality wine in Brazil.

The Creation of Miolo Lote 43

In 1999, the family paid tribute to the patriarch Giuseppe Miolo and created their first iconic wine with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which was named Miolo Lote 43, based on the lot bought by Giuseppe Miolo. Thus, the first two Lotes 43 wines, vintages 1999 and 2002, were still made in vineyards planted in the 1970s.

Vale dos Vinhedos and the D.O. (Denomination of Origin)

Vale dos Vinhedos was the first region in Brazil to obtain the D.O. (Denomination of Origin). Its regulations establish that all grape production and winemaking must be done in the delimited region of Vale dos Vinhedos under strict technical standards, high-quality standards, and accurate sensory evaluation of all wines.

The Evolution of Miolo Lote 43

Miolo Lote 43 is made only in exceptional vintages, always using a blend of Merlot wine with Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Since 1999, exploring the French concept of cru, an extraordinary vineyard from which an iconic and unique wine emerges.

The Wine Garden and Escola do Vinho Miolo

In the summer of 2015, the winery opened the Wine Garden, combining the concepts of wine bars and wine trucks. Open-air and integrated with nature, the space is located in the middle of Lote 43, the first vineyard of the Miolo family. The winery also has the Escola do Vinho Miolo, which offers courses and mini-courses on wine tasting and a special program that allows wine lovers to make wine.

Also read: Bordeaux: The Iconic Wine Region

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Categories: This Day in Wine History | Articles, Wine History In-DepthTags: , , By Published On: November 2, 2022Last Updated: February 27, 2024

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