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PageRankFenavinho Brasil 2009: National Wine Festival Celebrates Italian Immigration to the South of Brazil
Mara Rocha – January 12, 2009

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Who said that Brazil does not produce good wines? There are actually some excellent ones, especially in the della Serra Gaúcha region, in the south of Brazil, which was widely colonized by Italian immigrants, most arriving from the north of Italy. The educated wine lover has the opportunity to discover Brazilian wines during the Fenavinho Brasil 2009, or the National Wine Festival, an event promoted every other year which brings all the major vintners in the country together. The festival will take place from January 30 to February 24, in the city of Bento Gonçalves, in the Rio Grande do Sul, or the state which produces 90% of the Brazilian wines, and where over 3 million descendants of Italian immigrants live.

Costruzione delle cisterne per il vino nella tenuta di Guerino Bianco, 1913 
Building vats at the Guerino Bianco estate, Caxias do Sul – 1913
Municipal Historic Archives João Spadori Adami / Caxias do Sul

The Vale dos Vinhedos, the first Brazilian IG (Geographic Indication) recognized by the European Union, is located in Bento Gonçalves.

Dirigenti e dipendenti dell’azienda vinicola Luiz Antunes nel 1925 
Managers and workers of the Luiz Antunes estate in 1925
Municipal Historic Archives João Spadori Adami / Caxias do Sul

The Fenavinho Brasil – National Wine and Trade Festival – is the most important date to celebrate the quality of Brazilian wines. The objective of the event is to promote Brazilian wines and and the Italian cultural heritage, tasting and marketing various types of wine, from noble reds and whites to Spumante (sparklers), and daily table wines.

Dirigenti e dipendenti dell’azienda vinicola Luiz Antunes nel 1925
Vale dos Vinhedos, the first Brazilian region to obtain the Geographic Indication (IG),
a denomination recognized by the European Union. Photographs: José Zulian

The festival will take place at the Parque Fenavinho, one of the largest trade centers in Latin America, with over 58,000 square meters (around 624,306 square feet) of exhibition floor. Italian cuisine, cultural happenings, concerts and stage show are included in the program.


  • Event: Fenavinho Brasil 2009
  • When: From January 30, to February 24, 2009 (every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Carnival holidays)
  • Where: Parque de Eventos de Bento Gonçalves – Rio Grande do Sul – BraZil


  • Friday: 6PM - 10PM
  • Saturday: 10AM - 10PM
  • Sunday: 10AM - 8PM
  • Carnival Monday (Feb. 23): 10AM - 10PM
  • Carnival Tuesday Feb. (24): 10AM - 8PM

Stage Show
"L’Opera Popolare del Vino"
(The Popular Art of Wine)

  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 9PM
  • The Terraces: R$ 10 per person
  • Stalls: R$ 15,00 per person
    (calculate current value in other currencies)

  • Location: Arena do Parque de Eventos de Bento Gonçalves

Wine culture in the Serra Gaúcha
Historically, wine culture in the Serra Gaúcha started in 1875 with the arrival of Italian immigrants, mostly from the northeastern regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto. Because the vines brought by the Italians in their luggage died during the long voyage by sea, and the few plants which did survive did not adapt to the alien soil and did not bear fruit, the first vineyards were planted with the help of German immigrants, who had arrived in Brazil before the Italians. 

The vine variety Isabel in particular thrived in the fertile environment provided by soil, humidity, and hot sun in summer. The progressive development of the vineyards made it possible for the Italian immigrants to recreate their original life style and generated an excellent source of income in their new country. 

Starting in 1886, a group of producers imported various types of European vines, constantly improving the quality of their products.

The ancient wooden vats where the Italians used to crush their grapes by stomping on them with their bare feet are long gone, and the best wineries have adopted modern, cutting edge equipment. The original, limited production, rough wines which are still produced for self consumption in certain cases, have in general evolved into noble wines, which age gracefully and reach the ripeness demanded by sophisticated consumers at home as well as abroad.

More Information: Febavinho Brasil 2009
Tel. (54) 3451.7500 • E-mail:



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