The Fourth-Largest Wine-Producing Country in South America
Uruguay wine country is the fourth-largest wine producer in South America. The country is the best to know for the red wines produced from Tannat grape variety as well as white wines produced from Albarino.
The history of winemaking in Uruguay goes back to 1870 when Italian and Basque immigrants first brought Tannat here. Later in 1954, Albarino was introduced by Spanish immigrants. In recent years, the quality of wine produced in Uruguay wine country has been increasing as well as the popularity of wines across the globe. Besides Tannat and Albarino, there are other common grape varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, and Cabernet Franc.
The land of Tannat
In contrast, it was French immigrants in Uruguay who brought along a French variety: Tannat, which is widespread in southwestern France. Uruguayan wines are for lovers of strong tannins. In France, tannate has fallen out of favor due to the harder tannin structure, but in Uruguay, under the South American sun, it produces softer, more charming wines.
Wine Tourism in Uruguay
Take a tour to Uruguayan wine regions with us to discover the authenticity of the country together with our local partners. Discover the aromas of Tannat, explore the local gastronomy, and admire the natural beauty of the wine country.
Uruguayan Wine Regions
Here, vineyards cover around 8000 hectares and spread from east to west from north to south across different Uruguayan Wine Regions. Uruguayan wine regions are divided into Southern, Eastern, Southwestern, Central, and Western Riverside zones.
Southern Zone – The Largest Vineyards of Uruguay Wine Country
Canelones, located in the Southern zone is one of the largest Uruguayan wine regions. The region boasts spectacular landscapes of rolling hills, beaches, and farmlands. Canelones is located north of Montevideo, where warm climate and clay-rich calcareous soils favor the production of wines with well-balanced alcohol and acidity level.
Another important wine region located in the Southern Zone is Montevideo, the capital of the country. The region is home to one of the oldest vineyards of the Uruguay wine country. The expansion of the city pushed out the vineyards from the boundaries of the city towards Canelones. That is why the majority of the wine production of Uruguay wine country takes place in Canelones.
The fourth-largest wine region of Uruguay wine country, San José, is also located in the Southern Zone of the country. Climate conditions and the soils are pretty much similar to the Canelones wine region. Winemakers from San José produce white wines from international grape varieties such as Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. Tannat, solely or in blend with Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Merlot, is also well-spread in San José.
Central Zone – Sunny Corner with Red Earth Soils
Durazno is of the famous Uruguayan wine regions located in Central Zone. This zone is characterized by a warmer climate. Thus in Duranzo they normally harvest two weeks before then in Canelones. Durango is famous for the production of well-matured Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc wines.
Eastern Zone – Vineyards on Higher Altitude and Interesting Terroirs
Mandolado wine region represents the Eastern Zone of the country, which is characterized by interesting soils of crystalline rocks and quartz inlays. Particular soils of the region give specific minerality to the wines produced here. Mandolado is the home to one of the most popular coastal resorts of Uruguay, which puts this region on the hotspot of international travelers. The latest investments and improvements in winemaking bring promises that Mandolado is becoming a new center of Uruguyan winemaking after Canelones.