Uruguay has a wonderfully relaxed pace and the countryside is extremely charming and unspoilt. In respect to the wines we are going to show you the best that Uruguay has to offer, but at a very relaxed pace. Not only are you going to meet the people who matter in their wineries, you are going to taste everything, learn about wine and eat some amazing Uruguayan ‘asados’. One of the most wonderful things about Uruguay is that you in almost all occasions will be meeting the wineries’ owners or wine makers and this is priceless. Here we just give you a short overview of the accommodations we offer in Uruguay and in addition, there is a list of the Uruguayan restaurants we recommend. Remember Uruguay in December and January is at its height of season and things can be booked years in advance for certain dates so do not leave your Uruguay booking till the last minute. RWT having lived in Uruguay for nigh on 3 years we feel its a perfect place to relax, Montevideo is not and never will be Buenos Aires, What you can enjoy in Uruguay and Montevideo is a pace and ease of life that does not exist is so many places of the world anymore friendly and discreet people,Uruguay is a marvellous place to be and just let your worries and stress disappear.
Montevideo is a massive contrast to Buenos Aires, they are both capitals and port cities but thats the only thing they have in common.
When we are asked why Montevideo? its actually not about the city itself it’s more about its people and relaxed nature that gives it such an appeal. Montevideo is a international port and economic centre for the whole of Uruguay with a seaside resort consisting of sandy streets and pine forests. In between these contrasting east and western ends of the city is the financial heart of the country and the well-to-do residential areas facing the coast. The capital, which was founded in 1726, contains much of its original colonial Spanish and Italian architecture, mixed with more modern French and art Deco styles. The city is home to a cafe society full of picturesque plazas perfectly placed for hours of people watching, listening to tango music, eating pizza or asado (BBQ) and wandering around the indoor and outdoor markets.A stroll along the metropolitan waterfront can be a pleasant experience, with the Rambla Naciones Unidas walkway connecting the nine sandy beaches that line the seafront.
When to come and visit?
We think September through to End of December are Perfect and then February through to May.
How long do I need?
To Enjoy Montevideo 2 nights is perfect and we can use it as our base for touring the wineries. To enjoy the beaches of Uruguay we suggest a further 3 or 4 nights.
The Wines of Uruguay
Uruguay is the fourth-largest producer of wine in South America, with a production of 67,000 tonnes and 8,023 hectares (19,830 acres) of vineyards in 2012
We have some fantastic wines, which we can introduce you. A wine tour in Uruguay should range from 2-5 nights to do it any justice. We can show you the wines of Uruguay in BA by presenting them at a tasting if time does not allow you to visit. Robertson Wine Tours is a Uruguayan company and we have lived in Uruguay for over 3 years. Uruguay is hardly known in world wine circles as it is a very small country with limited production and investment and to export into large markets is not easy for them. The climate is not that much different from Atlantic Bordeaux, but lack of investment and high production costs have held Uruguay back. Anyway this is now changing. Do not expect the architectural grace and frenetic ness of Buenos Aires, but do expect a wonderful time. One of the most wonderful things about Uruguay is that you in almost all occasions will be meeting the wineries owners or wine makers and this is priceless.
The Tannat grape was introduced into Uruguay in 1870 by Basque immigrants and has transformed itself into the “national variety”, adapting itself perfectly to the local soil and climate. Considered an exotic grape variety, demand for Tannat is increasing rapidly. Uruguay is the only country in the world where significant amounts of Tannat are grown, more even than in its native Madiran and Irouléguy in south-west France.Tannat now represents approximately a third of all wine produced in Uruguay. Tannat makes a red wine of intense colour, good aroma and body which is well suited to accompany beef and other red meats.
Most Uruguayan winemakers ellaborate reserve quality Tannat wines by aging in oak barrels, which render considerable softness on tannins achieving excellent results. Its complexity and solid structure also allows for stylish unusual assemblages with different grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Shiraz.
Uruguayan wineries have also devoted to producing red wines of the best French grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with aging in oak barrels, or white wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, with outstanding quality.
Uruguay is the fourth-largest wine-producing country in South America. Wine grapes have been grown 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 promising poise and confidence.
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 ‘icon’ grape. The first Tannat vines to arrive here were shipped across the Atlantic by 19th-century settlers from the Basque country (the autonomous communities between southern France and northern Spain). Don Pascual Harriague is the man typically given credit for Tannat’s dissemination around Uruguay; for a long time the name Harriague was used as a synonym for the variety.
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. There is even one notable outcrop in the northern Riviera department, at Cerro Chapeau, just across the Paraguay-Brazil border from Brazil’s Campanha wine region. The distance north to the next Brazilian wine region beyond Campanha (Serra Gaucha) is some 275 miles (445km), roughly equivalent to Uruguay’s entire width; the differences in scale between Brazil and Uruguay are hard to overstate.
First things first: The beef is better in Uruguay than anywhere else in South America. Argentina may have the fame, but little old Uruguay can really lay claim to amazing beef. Why? Well, it is so natural, un spoilt and laid back. Why wouldn’t the animals respond so well to such great nurturing, you can taste it? On the other hand, there is just not the same level of cuisine here. Why? It is something we have really pondered on, it is our job. Well, the only answer we have come up with is that the typical Uruguayan does not complain. They just accept as they are kind, low profile and slightly timid people. Is this an excuse? We do not know, but the point we are trying to get across is fine cuisine in Montevideo is not the norm and added to that it is extremely expensive. Do not worry, we know these places we are recommending and we feel they go against the general mold. In Uruguay keep it simple in terms of what you are ordering and just remember you are in a city of just one and half million people. Below are in our opinion some of the best. Things do change, we know that, but we stand by these restaurants and most of them are very well established.
Single Female traveller, 10 days of wine in Mendoza and Uruguay“My tour in Uruguay and Argentina was most memorable maybe because Tim was my personal guide, but also because of the hospitality at each winery. I traveled alone on this trip and it was one of my favorite vacations to date. I would hire Robertson Wine Tours again and highly... TARA MEDLEY
Wine collectors from Tucson AZ travel to Argentina & Uruguay to find out whats going on here."Tim Robertson is the consummate wine expert and tour operator. We were seeking an incredible sightseeing / wine touring experience in South America and that is exactly what we received. This was not basic wine 101 (which he also arranges) but rather advanced vino505 for the wine connoisseur. In Mendoza...DRFRED AND SHARON KLEIN
40th Anniversary tour of Uruguay and her wineries. My wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in Uruguay. The Robertson wines tours portion were the highlight of the trip. We especially enjoyed the private meals with the wine makers and their families at the various wineries. We saw a part of Uruguay that few visitors are privileged...GERRY AND ROSE REIDY
Wedding anniversary. 5 start tour to Argentina, Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Chile and Uruguay“Tim put together an outstanding itinerary for our 17-day trip though Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Blending his local knowledge of city attractions, hotels and restaurants with his extensive knowledge of the bodegas and their wines, our trip exceeded all expectations.” ...SCOT MARTIN
2 New Yorkers come to taste and eat their way through Mendoza and Buenos Aires and UruguayWe offered Tim a challenge of coming up with a tour that not only included wineries and gourmet food but also included some adventure and shopping! He set up a tour that exceeded our expectations. Tim was very flexible, listened to what we were saying and kept changing the itinerary... Valentina Litichevsky & Patricia Fitzgerald