Archaeological finds suggest that what is now Brazil was inhabited by indigenous peoples as early as 13,000 years ago, and that ceramics were already in circulation by 7,500 BCE. Columbus' arrival on the American continent in 1492 sparked ambitions and greed not only in Spain, but also in Portugal, leading the two countries to quickly agree on a partition of South America in 1494. As a result, Brazil, which is South America’s largest country, is also the only one which has Portuguese as its national language. Before finding its way to democracy in 1985, Brazil suffered for centuries under the influence of kingdoms, imperialism, and military dictatorship. Today Brazil is the world’s leading exporter of coffee, tobacco, soya, beef and chicken, though two thirds of its GDP is attributable to the service sector. Though perhaps best-known to the world for its gifted footballers and its bright and festive carnaval, Brazil has far more to offer than its popular image might suggest.
Viticulture in Brazil
In Brazil, wine cultivation was initiated by Italian immigrants in the south of the country. Today, the country has five wine-growing regions, covering over 6,000 kilometres. Plentiful rainfall makes irrigation seldom necessary. Within South America, Brazil is famed for its outstanding sparkling wines; however, in recent years, the country’s still wines have received increased recognition. Brazilian winemakers can therefore likely expect a greater presence within international wine conversations in the coming years.