Brazilian sparkling wine with Mario Geisse

So why did you find that Serra Gaucha, or that area, was so suitable for sparkling wine? Look, that area has a pretty cool weather And it has a good condition of humidity and good soils, but basically from the weather point of view, it allows you to have grapes with a low sugar concentration and very good acidity For that reason you can have a base wine for sparkling wine of great potential Excellent, so what is the ‘X factor’ for Brazilian sparkling wine? What is the reason that you can make or have wines that are so special? What is special I think is that.. There’s two varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (and some others too, but basically these two) that are recognised as very fit for making a good sparkling that manage to mature with an almost perfect balance in some locations So, you have a very mature grape, with very good acidity and with low sugar levels that allows you to have ideal base wines for sparkling It’s like the history of Champagne Champagne was born because, they proved not to be very good for still wines, but faboulous as a base wine to support and add quality during a second fermentation And is that what allows you to make a lot of Brut Nature sparkling wines without adding any sugar? Look, what allows you to make so much Nature sparkling wine is to have a grape that’s so mature in this condition, that it doesn’t have any defect in the base wine. And when I say no defects, I mean you didn’t have to harvest earlier you don’t have green notes in the juice, and afterwards in the base wine which makes these base wines, in a second fermentation, gain a roundness and a balance. They have a depth of the palate that makes it unnecessary to add sugar. You feel a roundness and attractive mouth regardless. And this is because your raw material achieved a great balance at the moment of harvest. Talking about locations, you have in Cava Geisse a very particular place, how it express itself in the wines? That entire region is of basaltic rock origin. And it is a basalt with acidic characteristics But this basalt has had, because of it’s configuration, different levels of deterioration through time and when the basalt, over time, has been completely broken and deteriorated [weathered] It forms layers, that makes the soil become mixed and incorporated with that layered basalt and in this region it rains a lot but in the months previous to harvests there are long periods of drought sometimes two, three, four weeks, or more. And during these periods, the roots are able to feed from the soil left between this layers which gives a mineral character, a structure and a concentration in the base wines that is incredible! And that’s what makes the difference in the same region between being in one or another place But on top of that, the altitude. We’re at 800 meters of altitude and that’s what means it’s not the same at 800m where we have a much bigger thermal change (thermal amplitude/oscillation) compared to being at 400m. Perfect. And how are the different styles of sparkling wine that we find in the region? Because you specialize in champenoise method, and you only produce from your vineyard, But what variety can we find there? I think lately the trend has been to go towards Chardonnay and Pinot Noir But in that region the sparkling wine was born with Italian Riesling And Italian Riesling makes a sparkling wine very fresh and fruity that has worked very well in the Charmat method where people look for something with less structure, and very easy to drink etc. So I think these are the three varieties that are working best there. The more traditional option with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and the blend. And many Italian Riesling, charmat sparkling wine that’s less complex and easy to drink and very nice as well But the difference with people like us making champenoise method, is that we look for places and soils that allow us to showcase in the method, all of the differences. A different second fermentation, which is all handmade and with native yeast, but also with a more powerful base wine to take advantage of the system. And do you have a food pairing for your sparkling? What would you recommend? Well, if i have a pairing? I am a glutton! So I have plenty but.. I think I’ll pick a Brut Nature with prawns (with the shell and everything) cooked with a little bit of garlic sprinkled on top, and that for me is easy to prepare and very nice to enjoy! Very good, it makes me really hungry! And thirsty!

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