The Cave Colinas de Pedra in Curitiba, purveyors of fine methode champenoise wines, is the result of a personal dream of its founder.
If you think becoming a wine producer is an easy job, think twice. From everything I’ve ever known about wines, I’ve seen that there are a few ways to do it. If the Portugal’s family would teach us how to do it would be like this:
1. Buy a plot of land on the outskirts of Curitiba, Brazil, that includes a 429m long disused railway tunnel and an old railway station building.
2. Spend a couple of years wondering what the hell you’re going to do with said tunnel.
3. Decide, after a vague conversation with a visitor about how the tunnel reminded him of the caves in Champagne, France where wines are stored, to store wines in the tunnel like they do in France.
4. Convert the tunnel into a wine cave (actually very easy and without running costs as the temperature is a consistent 16°C to 17°C,). Transform the old railway station building into a restaurant.
5. Make an agreement with one of the finest sparkling wine producers in Brazil, Cave Geisse, to transport their wines 600km in bottle, already going through its second fermentation, to be stored in the cave (tunnel) for two years and labelled under Cave Colinas de Pedra.
6. Finish the wines at Cave Colinas de Pedra, removing the lees (the dead yeast cells), preserving the bubbles, adding the dosage (the sugar and base wine determining the wine brut, extra brut or, if no sugar, nature).
7. Invite guests to visit, offering them a tour of the cave, educating them on sparkling wine production and giving them a taste of their top quality wines with an option to stay for lunch and obviously purchase some wines on the way out.
Well, that’s one way to do it. Totally unique, never been done before, probably never to be repeated. The Portugal family, responsible for this innovation, have undertaken a challenging project, but it’s obviously a passion project. If you go there, you will meet them. Son Rafaelle Portugal greets you like an old friend on arrival, father Ari, the one responsible for buying the “buraco” (hole) as he calls the tunnel, takes you on the tour and mum Rosi prepares the food in the restaurant. Their exclusively sparkling wines are excellent quality and currently only available to purchase at the cave.
True to the family motto, you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend. Cave Colinas de Pedra is located in Piraquara, Curitiba, Brazil.