Monday 1 April 2024


I rise a little after nine. Heading downstairs for breakfast soon after.

I join Alex at a table. Not long after, Jos Brouwer sits with us. Chris arrives a little later, but can’t stay long as he’s being given a lift to Florianopolis. I have my usual breakfast.

A group of judges are planning to go to the Xanadu distillery, meeting at 13:30 in reception. Until then, I hang around in my room doing some writing and other stuff. I’m down in reception at 13:20. Where there aren’t many people about, only a couple of Brazilian judges.

After a while Rafael Santos comes up and says that the others went for lunch, but should be coming back. The minutes tick by. When it gets to 14:00, Rafael, who has a car, suggests that we go to some other cachaçarias north of the city. I don’t take much persuading, as I’ve already been to Xanadu twice.

Another Brazilian judge accompanies us. Having Portuguese speakers with me will be handy, if past brewery and distillery visits are anything to go by. Google Translate could only partially come to the rescue.

The weather is much more pleasant today. It looks like it rained all night and it’s still pretty overcast. It’s only in the low 20s. The coolest I’ve ever experienced it here.

Streaming past us are pastures, paddy fields and the occasional stand of sugar cane, backed by steep, wooded hills, alive with dozens of shades of green. The gardens of the rare houses bursting with brightly-coloured tropical flowers. It’s very different from Holland.

Our first stop is Dupipe. We enter via a narrow and, at times, steep track. We struggle to get up one section. Good job we’re in a four-wheel drive. At the end, several dogs run out barking to greet us. Where the hell is the distillery?

A man of about my age appears. It’s the owner. We’re in a stunning tropical garden where exotic flowers erupt from between all types of mature trees. Fish ponds on different levels punctuate the garden It’s ridiculously idyllic.

The owner throws some food into one of the ponds so we can see the fish, which are surprisingly large. Then points to a toucan perching in one of the trees. It seems a million miles away from Blumenau.

The distillery is in a shed. Above the door there’s a sign saying that it’s not allowed to enter drunk, but it is to leave.

Inside, there’s a small space with rows of bottles and larger jugs. In a connecting room, there’s the still, which the owner made himself. It’s rather, er, rustic. In the next room there’s a row if huge glass jars, where he’s making liqueurs from whole fruit. Including the strange pink bananas he showed us earlier in his garden.

Finally, we get to the barrel room. The barrels are furry with black mould. And bats flutter around under the eaves when we disturb them. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

The tour doesn’t take long. Then the sampling begins. First the silver and gold straight cachaças. They’re both very good. And the measures the size of a full measure. But the liqueurs are the true revelation. 

The standouts being the banana and the ginger. I’ve never experienced anything like the latter. It’s bursting with the flavour of fresh ginger: citrusy and with a tongue-tingling spiciness. Wow. Looking at the ginger to cachaça ratio in the big glass jar, it’s no surprise that it’s so intense.

I buy bottles of the two straight cachaças and the ginger liqueur. You won’t find them anywhere else as he doesn’t distribute.

Our next stop is a roadside smokehouse. Where we sample two different types of pork scratchings, one quite soft and the other much harder. I buy a bag of the latter. And a sausage.

Cachaça Dupipe
Rua Bonifácio Haendchen, 7999
Belchior Alto, Gaspar
SC, 89117-870.



Anonymous said...

Is everything ok Ron? No post on Saturday and I think this is a duplicate of your post from Wednesday 6 March, 2024. I hope you're doing well!

Ron Pattinson said...


it's not a duplicate post. The one from 6th March was a preview. If you look you'll see that the text isn't identical.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it, your blog starts off my day, so I got a little nervous. Keep up the good work!