Situated on the border of Sul De Minas and the Cerrado sits the mountainous region of Illicinea with farms rising from 1100 – 1320 masl before the land falls away into the expanse of the Cerrado. The area is made up of 6 communities, and is blessed with a micro-climate that provides excellent conditions for producing unique and intriguing coffees. The region's soil is known as 'cambisolo', where the rock is still turning to soil. This places its own unique stress on the plants and the maturation of the cherry. Previously, the growers here also really struggled with the winds that ravaged the crops, but through ingenuity and help they have put in systems and planted to trees to help minimise the affect of the wind. The region is still relatively unknown in coffee production terms, as coffees were previously sold under the names of other regions, until recently. Now these farms are being recognised for the unique coffees they produce, both in relation to the region and Brazil as a whole.
Fazenda Chapadão has been under the care of Wilson Pires for 9 years, since he and his brothers took over the running of the farm from his mother, Mrs Maria, when she became too ill to continue the day-to-day operations. With such a small farm - only 10 acres in size - and limited production volume, the initial years were a struggle for Wilson and his family to make the farm profitable, as all labourand picking is done manually, due to the location and topography of Illicinea. However, Wilson decided to start experimenting with selective picking and soon realised the added benefit this provided to sweetness and flavour in the cup. From there, Wilson focused his efforts on producing real quality from the farm, utilising advice from Cocatrel Direct who have helped him fine-tune his processes.
Once the coffee is hand picked from the trees, it is then laid out on patios in the sun for 7 - 10 days until it reaches the desired 11% moisture. From here it is left to rest for about 2 weeks before being milled and prepared for export.