Brazil Gets Cutting-Edge Wine Lab in Semi-Arid Region

The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) for the Semi Arid region, in the city of Petrolina, in the state of Pernambuco, in the northeastern region of the country has just opened one of the most modern wine research laboratories in Brazil.

The Ministry of Science and Technology invested about US$ 450,000, and Embrapa US$ 400,000 to carry forward the project, which also has a partnership with the Embrapa unit in Bento Gonçalves, city in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, which works with wine and grape. The information is from the Embrapa press advisory.

Two years ago, specialists from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) and universities in Spain and Portugal took part in the First International Workshop on Research about Wine Production in Tropical Regions.

The event, which was held at the Technological Institute of the state of Pernambuco (Itep), gathered scientists to discuss the application of science and technology to the production of wine grapes in regions with tropical climates.

According to Jorge Tonietto, an Embrapa researcher, tropical climates and soils contribute to the production of grapes that result in wines with original flavors.

The wines produced in the São Francisco Valley, in Northeastern Brazil, have been gaining a growing share of consumer markets at home and in Europe. In the region, which is home to eight wineries, six million liters are processed annually, representing 15% of domestic wine production.

This activity currently accounts for US$ 4.97 million in annual business, but entrepreneurs expect that the amount will increase to US$ 16.5 million by 2008, based on the use of new production technologies.

ABr

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