The Burgundy of Brazil

Among serious connoisseurs, Brazilian wines used to be a joke. But last year, after the European Union officially named the state of Rio Grande do Sul’s lush Vale dos Vinhedos (Valley of the Vine­­yards) a major producer of fine wines, the region’s vintners—some of them more than a century old—have been given an international boost in confidence. Long known to the sommeliers at Rio’s and São Paulo’s best restaurants, specimens from the Salton and Aurora vineyards in particular are among the best of the New World wines.