Wines of the Brazilian Sertão

 

The Juazeiro/Petrolina wine grape-growing belt has close to 25,000 acres of vineyards. It’s one of the only regions in the world with 2 to 3 harvests per year (as opposed to the usual, single harvest). The grape economy generates more than 30,000 direct jobs in the Sertão, where 50% of the rural workers union leadership of Petrolina (Pernambuco) are women. In certain functions they make up 70% of the manual labor workforce. The principal jobs given to them are the “raleio” and the “pinicado”, two techniques used in the thinning of the grape bunches during their development. The most delicate activities rely upon them, women that are helping to transform the lives of their families.

Lampião & Maria Bonita – Meet the Cangaceiros from the Brazilian Sertão

When I was eight  I saw this TV series based upon a true story called Lampião e Maria Bonita. It took place in the dry lands of Brazilian Sertão, a bit similar to –and not far from- the region of Crisópolis, where grandpa Octavio had settled alone in a house, in the middle of nowhere, after leaving the big city once and for all. I remember having cherry tomato wars with my siblings, picking cotton from the trees in his backyard and eating his polenta. I also remember looking at the moon from the porch and feeling overwhelmed by its power, its mystery, and by the fact that it surely knew everything about my future (but it wouldn’t tell me). In terms of landscapes, I am not sure where the memories of this TV series end and where those from my childhood at grandpa Octavio’s little ranch begin.