Driven by extremely favourable weather conditions and by a surge in the production of wine and wine by-products, the Brazilian wine-making industry sees 2018 as a turning point for the sector, which suffered significant quantitative losses in 2015 and 2016. In addition, the Brazilian Wine Institute (Ibravin) predicts that this year’s vintage will be the best one in many decades.
There is a reason for so much optimism: after losing nearly 60% of its production in 2016, the sector saw a 169% increase last year. This happened at the same time when global production plummeted, even in countries that led the market for wine and sparkling wine, such as France (-19%) and Spain (-20%), according to data released by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).
“2015 and 2016 were difficult years, but 2018 will undoubtedly be a year of recovery – considering our good harvest, high-quality grapes, and prospects for a more appreciated dollar,”, said Carlos Paviani, Ibravin Institutional Relations Director. “The smoother the grape-ripening process, the more balanced the wine tends to be, with higher alcohol levels and less acidity”, he explained.
“The 2018 vintage seems to be, in terms of quality, the best one so far this century – a harvest with balanced rainfall and no climate stress”, explained Pavani. He added that such characteristics should yield well-balanced grapes, which will result in high-quality wine.
For oenologist Lucas Simões, ambassador of Casa Valduga, one of the best renowned Brazilian wineries, the 2018 harvest will indeed be one of the best in Bra-zil for many years. “Our projection is that some wines of the iconic 2018 vintage will take some time to be released, and might only reach the market in 2025. This is particularly the case for red wines with ageing potential. However, younger and subtler wines will be available sooner for the enjoyment of wine lovers”, he added.
In Paviani’s views, the increased exports of Brazilian wines, sparkling wines and wine by-products proves that the Brazilian industry has raised its competitiveness levels in the recent past. Until March this year, for example, over US$ 1 million had been exported (553,100 litres), which represents a 44.3% increase in value and a 48.7% increase in volume compared to the same period last year.
“We have 40 good wines available in the international market, which means that exports have been growing. We saw an increase in 2014 as a result of the World Cup, but it was followed by a decrease. Now it is time for us to resume sales”, he explained, and added that estimates can improve, depending on this year’s currency exchange trends – in other words, if the US dollar maintains its rising trend.
Oenologist Lucas Simões also foresees a quality surge for Brazilian wine. According to him, the wines produced in Brazil are found agreeable by both domestic and international consumers. “If we consider the figures for the past 10 years, we will see that Brazilian wine has won the heart of many consumers. Not too long ago, our wines were still considered exotic”, he pointed out.