Uruguay Wine: The Best Wine You’ve Never Heard Of

By March 8, 2017Dining, Travel
Uruguay wine is some of the finest in the world!

It’s Wine Wednesday which means we’ve got a pleasant trip in-store. If you’re visiting Uruguay, be sure to check out what may be the best Tannat wine in the world. Where can I find this amazing wine, you ask? Take a tour of one of the many wineries in the Canelones Region.

 

What is Tannat?

Before we get into why Uruguay wine is some of the best in the world, let’s discuss what makes them worthy of the title. Because let’s be honest, when someone says “wine,” your first thought is probably “Italy” or “France.” Though it’s not as famous on the wine scene, Uruguay wine is the Little Wine Region That Could.

The specialty of the country is Tannat. The name originates from the high concentration of tannins found in the grapes. Without getting too deep into the chemical compounds and scientific definitions, basically tannins are what give wine its signature bitterness.

What makes Tannat so incredible, however, is that it is essentially a Superfood. It’s LOADED with antioxidants. (You know, that thing in tea everyone talks about.) Plus, Tannat improves blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Experts believe it’s the healthiest red wine.

Where did this powerful little grape come from? Tannat originated in France, but has flourished in recent years on the Uruguay wine scene. Actually, flourished may be an understatement. It’s the national grape.

What makes Uruguay Tannat so well-liked is that, unlike traditional French Tannat, the Uruguay variety has more elegant, softer tannins and blackberry fruit notes.

So not only is Uruguay wine super tasty, it’s super healthy too.

 

Uruguay Wine Tours

The Canelones Region may be the best wine region in Uruguay. Here’s some of the best places to sample Uruguay wine.

 

Artesana

This small production, premium winery specializes in Tannat, and it produces the only zinfandel in the country. We highly recommend this winery. Locating a bottle of Artesana in the US is no easy task. Exports are limited to a few states and restaurants.

Vines here are nourished by the ocean breeze. When harvest comes, everything is done by hand.

Guided tours include a tasting of 3 wines as well as cheeses and meats. Or you can choose to have 4 wines with a full lunch.

Wines produced here are full-bodied with dark fruit and spice flavors.

Summers in Uruguay are dry and sunny.

Enjoy a glass of Tannat under the bluest, Uruguay skies on Artesana. Photo: Artesana Facebook

 

De Lucca

Three generations have overseen De Lucca. Summers at this winery are warm and dry, and soil is brown and black with calcareous sub-soil.

Grape varieties produced here include Merlot, Tannat, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Néro d’Avola, Petit Berdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Marsanne, and Viognier.

Personalized tours by family members take you through the vineyards, winery, and cellar and you will sample three wines and an appetizer. Private tours and tastings are also available upon request.

The vineyards of De Lucca Winery in Canelones, Uruguay.

De Lucca family members will take you through the vineyards on your tour! Photo: De Lucca Facebook.

 

Pizzorno

Cultivation and harvest are both done by hand for four generations at this family-owned winery. Like many wineries of the Canelones region, the soil here is calcareous, producing a balanced harvest of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Arinaroa.

There are several types of tastings available here so whether you’re a recent wine lover or have been enjoying vino for years, you’ll learn something new.

The basic tasting includes 4 wines, tapas, and regional cheeses. Premium tastings focus on exclusive Reserve wines. If you’re looking for something unique, make sure to try the Expert Tastings – it includes the only ice wine produced in Uruguay.

The varieties of wine at Pizzorno.

There’s plenty of wine to choose from when you visit to Pizzorno. Photo: Pizzorno Facebook.

 

Bodegas Carrau

The history of this winery extends across three centuries and the Atlantic Ocean. Originally founded in Catalonia in 1752, the winery eventually migrated to the New World. 10 generations later, the family legacy carries on.

As early as the 1880s, this winery became an award-winning producer of Tannat. Be sure to ask for the Arunguà Tannat wine, a nice Violet variety.

In addition to produce high-quality wine, this winery continually researches and develops new techniques.

Tannat wine of Bodega Carrau.

The Tannat of Bodega is earthy and fruity. Photo: Bodega Facebook.

 

Are you craving some Tannat from Uruguay? Let us know! We’re happy to customize any trip to be exactly what you want. Tour all four wineries or pick the one that sounds most interesting to you! Call Jaya Travel today!

 

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