Above: Vineyards, Bodega Garzón - RODRIGO GUILENEA

Three Unforgettable Wineries in Uruguay

Vineyards, Bodega Garzón - Rodrigo Guillenea

Blessed with coastal winds, mineral-rich soils and a latitude shared by Australia, South Africa and Argentina, Uruguay boasts excellent terroir for grape-growing (even given its copious rainfall and humidity). Jesuits and other Europeans brought vines to the country in the 18th century, but things really got going in the 1870s with the introduction of Tannat, a red grape that likely originated in France’s Basque region. Typically full-bodied and tannic, Tannat is now Uruguay’s flagship variety.

With fewer than 200 producers, Uruguay doesn’t export much wine to the United States. Touring its vineyards feels like being let in on a secret.

Bodega Bouza

Restaurant, Bodega Bouza

It’s a 15-minute drive from downtown Montevideo to Bodega Bouza. After a stroll amid the vines and a look at the collection of vintage cars, motorbikes and tractors parked in the airy tasting room, it was time for lunch. Bouza’s Tannat A6 meshed perfectly with my grilled lamb. Its minerally character is thanks to the two feet of white-granite gravel that winemaker Eduardo Boido laid over his clay-rich soils. The rocks also reflect sunlight onto the grape clusters closer to the ground, helping them mature while they stay cool beneath leaf cover.

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Above: Vineyards, Bodega Garzón - RODRIGO GUILENEA

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