As one of the most important cities in Latin America—especially as far as food is concerned—São Paulo’s wine scene has become diverse and vibrant, mirroring the growing wine natural scene across Brazil at large. Bars, restaurants, and wine stores focusing on natural labels are no longer a niche market, and are conquering more and more of the city's streets—especially in neighborhoods like Pinheiros, Jardins, and Vila Madalena.
“We have seen increasing numbers of natural, biodynamic, sustainable, Brazilian wines on lists throughout the city,” sommelière Daniela Bravin says. She is the owner of Sede 261, a small and charming wine bar opened in 2018 with a wide range of natural and biodynamic options.
According to Bravin, Brazil is producing increasingly better natural wine, which allows local venues to highlight national labels. And in the country's biggest city, this can already be observed more and more. You can find below our selection of the best places to drink them.
Jardim dos Vinhos Vivos
In this mix of bar and store, the list counts more than 150 natural, organic, and biodynamic labels. Run by Brazilian Analu Torres and French-born Xavier Meney, Jardim dos Vinhos Vivos offers great labels to buy or to drink in their cozy space surrounded by a beautiful garden, as well as tastings and even French classes focusing on the world of wines (Torres is a French teacher). There are daily options of whites and reds served by the glass, and during the weekends, food options are prepared to pair well with the wines, from cheese and charcuterie boards to main dishes.
Enoteca Saint VinSaint
Sommelière Lis Cereja is one of the pioneers of São Paulo's natural wine scene: the unexpected boom of her clientele has led her to keep on expanding her business. What started as a small enoteca now includes a restaurant with only organic food and a huge list of wines by the glass, in addition to 150 labels—many of them from small vineyards, which she carefully sources from all over the country. She also breeds free-range animals in her piece of land to be consistent with the “free wines” she serves. Cereja is also in charge of the new fair Naturebas, dedicated to the theme, and which has become one of the most important natural wine events in Brazil.
In this French-influenced restaurant in downtown São Paulo, there are plenty of natural wine options on the list. Chef Benoit Mathurin, who prepares bistro-influenced recipes with a comforting approach, is passionate about natural labels, especially those produced in France, his native country, having made his venue one of the first to focus on this type of wine. As its name suggests, Esther is located on the rooftop of Esther’s, an iconic Modernist building designed by architects Álvaro Vital Brazil and Adhemar Marinho in the 1930s, and has a beautiful view of the Praça da República (Republic Square) for you to admire while sipping great wines.
Located in the Municipal Market of Pinheiros, one of the best in the city, with food options from chefs like Alex Atala and Rodrigo Oliveira, this shop—which has a great selection of wines, plus cachaças and beers—has a full shelf of natural wines, with dozens of options, such as the French labels of the Garrafa Livre, an importer specializing in natural wines. You can buy a bottle and drink it in loco, since they lend you a glass just for that.
Sede 261 opens a few times a week for guests to taste labels selected by sommeliers Daniela Bravin and Cássia Campos. There are dozens of labels served in the tiny but cozy space, and no food menu—but during the weekends they serve oysters and even barbecue to pair well with the wines. What might impress you is the diversity and quality of the labels you can find, a good reason to visit this quiet street of Pinheiros.
Rafael Tonon is a freelance journalist based in Brazil. Read more Rafael Tonon for Sprudge Wine.