Montevideo, Uruguay

                                                                           Parliament House

January 25, 2012

This stop in Montevideo was also a second visit for us, and felt rather like coming home.  The city is well-kept and has many interesting things to see.  The tour we chose this time was called ‘Connoisseur’s Guide to the Wines of Uruguay’.  The tour included a bus ride through the city, with several photo stops, prior to visiting the three wineries scheduled.  

The photo ops included General Artigas’ statue (a national hero), the parliament house (above), and one of the incredible life-size sculptures by Jose Belloni.

Then it was on to the wineries.  The first winery we visited was Bouza, a premium boutique winery with a beautiful landscape and a wonderful collection of antique cars and motorcycles.  We were taught about the wine-making process, and visited a field of Tannat grapes (the national grape of Uruguay), before going in to the tasting room to try their wines.  The wines were served with appetizers, such as bread, cheese, meats, nuts, etc.  The Albariño, a white wine was quite nice; the reds were also very good.  In all we tasted five wines.

The second winery was Juanicó, the country’s largest wine producer.   This was the most amazing wine-tasting experience we’ve had, not just because of the high quality of the wines, but because of the foods they served with the wines.  Each of the four items you see on the plate was designed to go with a specific wine.  We tasted one white and three reds, (as well as the olive oil they make), but they saved the best for last:  Licor de Tannat, a port-type wine, 2003 vintage, straight from the barrel.  The Licor was so good that we bought two bottles of it, and one of the Oenologist’s Selection, a wonderful red blend.

By now we were feeling all the wine we had consumed, but there was still one more winery to visit: Santa Rosa.  We started our visit with a brief tour of the winery, followed by a tasting which included a champagne, and three reds, including the obligatory Tannat.  The food served with the wine was very similar to what we had at Bouza.  The wines here were also very good.

This visit was a bit rushed because even though our tour had started late, we had a set time by which we needed to be back at the ship.

The tour proved something to us that we had suspected ever since we visited the H. Stagnari Winery in 2010:  Uruguay makes truly great wines.  We do have one piece of advice for any who would like to tour wineries in Uruguay:  three wineries in one day is too many.  Uruguay may not be a big name in wine production as are Argentina and Chile, but their wines are definitely worth trying if you happen to find them.  They make very high quality wines.

Don’t forget all the photos in the album.

                                                         Tannat Grapes on the Vine

© Susan L. Stone 2015