Bento Gonçalves – South of Brazil July 2013
We’ve been in touch with Lourdes Conci da Silva, Aurora’s Marketing Director, and we’ve arranged to meet her at one of the vineyards just outside Bento Gonçalves. The road winds its way up into the hills and soon turns from asphalt to dirt to lead us to an elegant house in the midst of the vineyards.
As we get out of the car, a woman walks out to meet us. “Welcome to Aurora!” she says as she steps in for the traditional Brazilian hug. “I’m Lourdes. Let me introduce you to the team and
then we’ll show you around the premises. But first we’d like to offer you a glass of our best sparkling wine!”
As we follow Lourdes to the shaded porch, Anouk looks at me with a smile and says: “Wow, not a bad start to our Brazilian food discovery trip!”
Lourdes tells us that the story of the Aurora Winery started in 1875 with the arrival of migrants from Italy. They brought with them a long tradition of winemaking and found that the landscape and climate of the Serra Gaucha were perfectly suited for the development of vineyards.
Alem Guerra, Aurora’s CEO who has been involved in the cooperative for over 40 years, adds: “Then in 1931, 16 families of winegrowers from Bento Gonçalves got together to create what would become the largest development of its kind in Brazil: the Aurora Cooperative Winery.”
“A year after its establishment, the winery already boasted a collective production of 145 tonnes
of grapes and was using advanced technologies to produce high-quality wine. Today, the Aurora Winery is still the largest cooperative in Brazil with a membership of more than 1,100 families. And we are working with the next generation of winegrowers and winemakers to strengthen our legacy.”
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