Cachaça is part of the Brazilian culture. The distilled spirit is internationally recognized for being the protagonist of caipirinha, but there are many other ways to consume it. Cachaça producers are widespread across the country working on different production and processing techniques.
To value these producers, the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) has awarded prizes to those responsible for producing the best alembic cachaças in the country.
“We are celebrating here not only the alembic cachaça producers and their products, but people on the entire production chain, who work hard for strengthening and developing the sector, even when facing major challenges, which still must be overcome,” says João Martins, CNA’s President.
One hundred producers from 13 Brazilian states and the Federal District took part in the competition. The winners were selected in two categories: “white” and “yellow” cachaças, which differ in the use of wood in the production process.
The winner of the award in the “white” category was Cid Marques Faria, from Cachaça Remedin Prata in Fercal (DF). The second place was Flaviano Sousa Cruz, from Sabinosa Cachaça in Salinas (MG). The third place was Gerson Tavernari, from Adelina Prata in Porto Real (RJ), and in fourth place was Bruna Bianchin Pol, from Cachaça Pol in Marau (RS).
The winner of the “yellow” category was Eliezer Ferreira de Lacerda from Cachaça Princesa do Vale in Pedra Azul (MG). The second place was Juan Artigas de Sousa Luz, from Cachaça Velho Juan in Manfrinópolis (PR). The third place was Fernando Bomfim Margarido from Cachaça Margô Premium in Sales Oliveira (SP). And the fourth place was Alexandra Polacchini Inez from the Cachaça Engenho Fazenda Velha Ouro in Nova Odessa (SP).
The winners stressed the importance of this kind of initiative to increase the visibility of alembic cachaças in the country. “Our cachaça is five years old, we are a family business, and we produce cachaça in the traditional way: with manual sugarcane cutting and using only recycled wood in the oven. This award is for a category I am very proud of: the silver cachaça,” says Cid Marques Faria, one of the winners.
The winner of the “yellow” category, Eliezer Ferreira de Lacerda, highlighted that he is keeping a legacy that his grandfather started in 1949 in the town of Pedra Azul. “I studied and became an expert, and now I’m here with this special cachaça, a blend of three types of wood. This award is an opportunity to value cachaça, our product, and all the small producers of quality alembic cachaça. We are making history here,” he said.
The competition had three stages of selection and classification, with tasting—without identifying samples—by a technical jury and a popular jury. In addition, an analysis of the product’s history was also carried out, which considered the traditional knowledge applied, the contribution to rural producers’ economic autonomy, environmental sustainability, and the product’s differential or original aspect.