May 24, 2008

Cachaça Dona Carolina... no longer a well-kept secret

In my quest to find the perfect cachaça, today I visited Cachaçaria Dona Carolina (located within the stunning Fazenda Dona Carolina - a 19th century coffee plantation beautifully converted to a resort) located in Itatiba, a 90-minute drive from São Paulo. There is a lot of informality in the production of cachaças, so I was extremely impressed with the level of professionalism, passion and attention to detail that the team at Dona Carolina puts into making their magic. The distillation is carried out in copper pot stills known as alambics. The initial production is stored in 9,000-liter casks made from a Brazilian native wood called Jequitibá-Rosa, used because of its neutral qualities. The cachaça is then aged in an underground cellar in oak barrels imported from Scotland.

One of the highlights is visiting the cachaçaria, where Fernando who was kind enough to give us a tour of the facilities, had us sample the exceptional Cachaça Dona Carolina.  He also prepared one of the best caipirinhas I've ever had. And if you want to get a little adventurous, there are also over 400 labels to choose from.

As an aficionado, Cachaça Dona Carolina is definitely on my list of all-time favorites.

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