April 24, 2017

One imperial tunnel, one cava.

By Hermine

This is the slogan of a degustation concept in the hilly fields near the small town of Piraquara. What you’ll find here is an experience above the usual.

Cave de Colinas de Pedra is the new destination for tasting Brazilian cava, in a surprisingly innovative and unexpected environment, just under an hour drive from Curitiba. Although barely opened to the public for two months, the concept has already won prizes for its creativity and preservation of cultural heritage from organisations like UNESCO, as well as gained exposure in national and international press.

Ten years ago, Ari Portugal, a former bank executive, started realising his dream of building a wine cellar in one of the old, unused train tunnels of Serra Verde Express. It was in 1999, when he acquired 45 hectares of land to build an ecological pousada, that he discovered that the tunnel on the property had the perfect, stable temperature of 16-17 degrees Celsius to store and age sparkling wine. After some extensive research the 429m long tunnel was closed on both sides. They partnered with the distinguished, traditional cava producer Geisse, from Rio Grande do Sul, who now stores some 6000 bottles of cava in the cellar, with capacity to expand to 50 000. In the coming years, Ari and his family plans to invite cava and wines houses from all over the world to participate in the project.


Sparkling brut from cava producer Geisse, Rio Grande do Sul 

Apart from the cava tasting and personal tour of the magically lit tunnel, the current day-package also includes a gourmet lunch at the carefully renovated, charming, old train station. As the Serra Verde Express passes outside, they will package that includes a return train ride from Curitiba and dinner will soon be on offer.


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The restaurant and old train station 


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