In the region of Cerrado Mineiro, Fazenda Recanto is certainly a landmark in producing high-quality coffee. Run by Vinhal Family, Fazenda Recanto has a long steady history in the coffee industry, which dates back to 1988. They are 3rd generation of farmers, producing a wide range of varieties, such as Red Catuaí, Yellow Catuaí, Topazio, and Yellow Icatu at an average altitude of 950 m.a.s.l.
What stands out from this family is that every member is involved in the production and is passion for post-harvest processing. You will find all types of processing methods, from Washed, Honey to Natural, which is uncommon for Brazilian standards. They implemented sustainability practices to respect both people and the environment.
The first time we cupped new harvest lots from Recanto we already found some unique characteristics, like lemongrass & cinnamon notes. Their ongoing Quest into coffee fermentation has been at the basis of their success. Each season they start with new experiments, tweaking with fermentation hours across the different processing methods, in some cases going well over 100 hours per lot.
Next to producing some interesting Naturally processed lots they are surprisingly big in producing Fully Washed coffees. At Fazenda Recanto they mechanize the pulping of cherries but add a second stage of fermentation. Even in a bad season with a low amount of maturation in the beans, they managed to create consistency. By controlling the extended fermentation periods, they are able to improve flavour development, even when the amount of sugars is low.
Fazenda Recanto produces about 7000 bags per year, the majority of which is sold on the internal market, but an increasing amount of specialty coffee is being produced for export purposes too. They are winners of some of the most important coffee quality competitions in Brazil. Father Afonso Vihnal and his son Rafael are making continuous effort to ensure that their coffee stands out, both on the local market and abroad. According to Afonso, his secret for producing high-quality coffees is the constant care and the rigorous process of drying coffee cherries.
The greatest challenge that motivates the Vinhal Family is to combine productivity, care for the environment, and quality of the coffee they produce.
At Fazenda Recanto, they care not only about coffee plants but also about the entire ecosystem around. During our trip to Brazil in June 2019, we had the opportunity to meet the Vinhal family. Both the father Afonso Vinhal and son Rafael Vinhal took time to show us around their farm. In the flatlands of the Cerrado Mineiro, you might think that all farms look alike, but reaching the milling facility we found a beautiful Oasis with palm trees in between the rows of coffee plants.
The properties are certified by Rainforest Alliance, 4C, and Certifica Minas and are proud members of BSCA.