Ypióca From Fortaleza, Brazil
Three Authentic Expressions Of Cachaça From Brazil's Oldest Distillery
From Portugal to Brazil
The story of Ypióca began in 1843, when Dario Telles de Menezes, who would go on to found the Ypióca Group, landed in Fortaleza, Brazil. He had traveled from Portugal, and ended up settling in Maranguape, near Fortaleza. His original intention was to farm sugarcane, but the farming business proved challenging and Menezes turned his focus to distillation. Three years later, the first Ypióca Cachaça was distilled and Ypióca was founded, making it the oldest Brazilian brand still in operation. The name Ypióca comes from the indigenous Tupi-Guarani language, and translates to “red earth,” alluding to the fertile soil conducive to farming cane sugar.
The Next Generation
Menezes ran the company until 1895, when his son Dario Borges Telles took control. Telles passed away at a relatively young age, and his widow, Eugenia Menescal Campos, took control of the estate. Campos would famously create the Ypióca logo, which she drew by hand. Campos ran the company until 1924, when her son Paulo Campos Telles assumed control, and barrel maturation using local balsam wood barrels was incorporated into the production process. Another big innovation Telles introduced at Ypióca was offering the cachaça in one liter glass bottles, which were hand-covered in carnauba straw, a practice that continues to this day.
Paulo Campos Telles ran the company until 1970, when his son Everardo Telles took over. Acknowledging Ypióca’s contribution to the cachaça industry and Brazil, Everardo Telles opened the Cachaça Museum in 2000 at the first Ypióca headquarters in Maranguape. The Ypióca story continues to evolve and advance. In looking to the future, Ypioca maintains a strong focus on environmental sustainability. Ypióca owns and manages its own sugar plantations, allowing the company to choose varieties of sugarcane to complement various types of soil, and till the land with an eye toward soil preservation rather than maximum yield. Not letting any part of the process go to waste, Ypióca’s spent sugarcane becomes recycled cardboard boxes in which the product is shipped.