PRODUCTION AND AGING - METHOD
The first sugar cane mills in Florianopolis used to have four levels so as to take advantage of the gravidity conditions in the transference of the different products. Resulted from the distillation process, the cachaça was stored in aging wood barrels in the fourth level of the mill, the lowest one. The alembic, an apparatus used in the distillation process, was made of copper, but right after a law that prohibited the usage of copper, they started to be made of clay. There were about 100 sugar cane mills in operation by the top of the production of cachaça in Florianopolis. Nowadays, there is only one due to the transformation of the island into a touristic setting. On the other hand, the growth of the "crioula or cana fita" species, the origin of ARMAZEM VIEIRA cachaça, spread to the coastal side of the Island´s continental region up to the Sea Mountain Range.
The ARMAZEM VIEIRA cachaça is currently distilled in a more sophisticated copper alembic. Though technologically improved, both fermentation and distillation processes still follow the traditional ones used in the 18th century, which guarantees that quality standards match the same level of excellence of international distilled drinks. Therefore, the cachaça is stored in aging wood barrels of Ariribá wood species, located at the back of ARMAZEM VIEIRA pub-cantina. When in contact with the cachaça, the wood produces chemical reactions that reduce oxy compounds that may alter other compounds in the cachaça. As a result, it is obtained aromatic esters* and phenolic acids and also a different color.
* chemical compounds derived by reacting an Oxo acid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol
Good results from the aging process depend on the wood used in the barrels as it has a direct influence over color, taste, smell, brightness and ABV (alcohol by volume). The most used woods for aging barrels in Brazil are the species known as: Amburana (Minas Gerais), Balsamo (Ceará), Aririba/Araruba (Santa Catarina and São Paulo), Jequitiba or Caririana Legalis (São Paulo), Jatoba or Hymenaea courbaril and Ipe or Tabebuia (Rio de Janeiro).
In the coastal region of Santa Catarina, the wood barrels are made of Aririba species as it presents the best results concerning cachaça aging and taste (bouquet). The Arriba species is the one used at ARMAZEM VIEIRA´s aging barrels.
The product usually reaches a high quality level at the first two or three years of aging. Due to the improvements in the aging process at ARMAZEM VIIERA, it is possible to have the cachaça bottled within 3, 4, 6, 12 and 16 years of storage. It is important to mention that ARMAZEM VIEIRA matches all the requirements from the Brazilian Agricultural Ministry which legislates about the production of alcoholic drinks in Brazil. The building is licensed with the number 421.00235-2 since April 6th, 1987.
Translated by Silvana Polchlopek