Vale dos Vinhedos: Don Candido, Don Giovanni & Miolo
Don Candido is also a member of the Valduga family who set off on his own to open what is now a boutique winery. Favoring quality and tradition, Don Candido produces small quantities of outstanding wines from noble grapes. These have won several international medals and awards. One can still meet with Don Candido in their dining room and chat over a grappa.
In 1972 Don Giovanni was the first to age his wine in small barrique. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Gamay, the wine was very concentrated and quite tannic, with an alcoholic volume considered high for the time of about 12%. Since then, Don Giovanni has been producing powerful wines of great complexity and ageing potential. The winery guesthouse is one of those places you wish you would never leave. Not until you see the tab.
Miolo was the one winery I had no desire whatsoever to visit. Pretty much a Coca-cola of wines, Miolo group is the biggest wine producer in Brazil. Joining other big wine groups such as Osborne, Miolo aggressively entered the international market in 2006. Today their sparkling wines can be found in Costco as well as in any ordinary liquor store. But then again, how could I be there and not pop in? What was meant to be just a quick check, turned out to be a really nice tasting of their premium wines. With big names come big prices. Expect to pay Champagne price for their sparklings and Chablis 1er Cru price for their Chardonnay.