Uruguay – a land full of wine surprises...

PUBLISHED: 14:59 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:59 15 November 2017

Wines of Vinedo de los Vientos.

Wines of Vinedo de los Vientos.


South America has a long history of wine making and it is on one of the smallest countries, Uruguay, that much interest is currently being focused. It is also the fourth most important wine exporting country in South America after Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

I was introduced to it when I was offered a glass of Alycone at a wine trade tasting. Your response might have been like mine was – that’s delicious but what is it? The short answer was a fortified red dessert wine made from the Tannat grape!

This was a revelation as Tannat has been grown in Uruguay since the early 1800s when European growers moved there and took the means for their livelihood over with them.

However, the early wines were dull and very tough with little appealing fruitiness making them difficult to drink never mind enjoy. Thankfully nowadays it is made in a more appealing, softer, fresher style.

Uruguay is relatively flat, especially when compared to the other successful wine producers of Argentina and Chile.

There are rolling hills with limestone and clay soils and rocky outcrops in the north and conditions are well suited to grape growing and wine production in many styles.

Tannat is especially suited to the maritime climate and like Malbec is to Argentina Tannat is becoming the grape most closely associated with Uruguayan wines.

Wine production in Uruguay is still dominated by small family-owned businesses like that of Vinedo de los Vientos who make the Alcyone mentioned earlier.

The property has been in the Fallabrino family since 1947 and they produce great wines in small quantities utilising a modern winery, but they like to use forgotten old or less-known wine-making techniques.

‘Viñedo de los Vientos’ translates into ‘Vineyard of the Winds’ and is located where the river Plate Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean meet, providing clean cool ocean breezes and an ideal climate for the maturation of fine wine grapes. Their vineyards are also soon to be certified organic.

Some of their best wines are made from the Tannat grape. The Vinedo de los Vientos Anarkia which is a sulphur-free Tannat based wine with aromas and tastes of black olives and dark berry fruits with an appealing fresh finish and is ideal with red meats, game, and casseroles.

The Vinedo de los Vientos Alcyone is unusual as it is the result of two traditional processes of herbal infusion and fortification with grape spirit like Marsala production using a mature oaky base wine.

It results is a wine of lovely honeyed texture with notes of Madagascan vanilla bean, chocolate, and tiramisu! It’s lovely on its own or with desserts which have similar flavours.

The Vinedo de los Vientos Catarsis is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Barbera showing that some unusual blends are delicious too. This has delicate aromas of vanilla and toast with cherry and eucalyptus. The palate is medium to full body, soft tannins, and a long finish.

Talking of blends the Vinedo de los Vientos Estival is a white which in my mind shouldn’t work as it combines Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and Moscato Bianco all of which are distinctive grape varieties that could dominate any mixture.

However together they make a balanced unctuous wine full of crisp passion fruit, pineapple skins and some floral notes.

Uruguayan wines are worth seeking out, especially those of Vinedo de los Vientos offering new flavours to enjoy, quality and great value.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Herts Advertiser visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Herts Advertiser staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Herts Advertiser account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:00

An innovative entrepreneur went to Downing Street to showcase her business help app.

Yesterday, 12:28

A yellow weather warning has been issued for Stevenage and the snow is due to stop soon across Welwyn Hatfield and St Albans.

Yesterday, 12:00

Home-Start is holding a fundraiser where you can slap a man with a fake fish.

Yesterday, 09:00

Redbourn has been shortlisted in a national competition to be crowned village of the year.

CountryPhile Zoo Watch

Most read stories

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter