One of South America’s up-and-coming wine producers, Uruguay offers the opportunity to visit Old World-style family producers in South America producing some of the region’s most interesting wines.
Uruguay is the fourth-largest wine-producing country in South America. Wine grapes have been growing here for over 250 years, although commercial viniculture did not begin until the second half of the 19th Century, two centuries or so after Chile and Argentina. In the past few decades, Uruguayan wine has emerged quietly and steadily onto the world wine market — not as dramatically as that of its larger neighbors — but with poise, confidence, and the promise of greater wines to come.
No summary of Uruguayan wine is complete without mention of Tannat, the robust, tannic red that has played such a pivotal role in the country's rising wine status. Just as Chile has its Carmenere and Argentina its Malbec, so Tannat has risen to become Uruguay's iconic grape.
The majority of Uruguayan wine is made from vineyards in the south of the country, in the Canelones, Montevideo and San Jose departments. There are small patches of viticultural activity all around the western periphery, along the border with the Entre Rios province of eastern Argentina.
Wine program visits to Uruguay all share a coming theme: personalized attention and warm hospitality. Still very much the domain of Old World style family producers, a visit to Uruguay’s wineries is an opportunity to share in the generations of hard work and expertise that are transforming the country into a recognized wine producer. Several annual festivals offer the opportunity to experience Uruguay’s wine culture in a unique environment — including Harvesting Day in March, the Tannat and Lamb Festival in June, and Pruning Day in August.
Round out a trip to Uruguay with a visit to the beautiful capital, Montevido. Uruguay’s pristine beaches and world renowned Punta del Este are tempting attractions for those looking to experience the country’s wines and culture to the fullest.