History of Wine in Uruguay

The history of wine in Uruguay had a great French influence in the 19th century, especially with the introduction of the Tannat grape from Madiran, France, which is still considered the most important grape variety in the country.

Initially, wines were produced by small farmers in a random manner, With the passage of time, an organizational structure was introduced into winemaking to leverage the quality of the wines. In 1987, INAVI, the National Institute of Viticulture, was created, which organized and implemented the activity to plant new European varieties and introduce the best winemaking practices in the country.


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Although wine is produced in different parts of the country. The largest concentration of grape cultivation is located on the south coast, a maritime climate region in the regions of Canelones, San José, Florida, and Montevideo. Some other regions producing wines include:

Artigas, Colonia, Durazno, Paysandú, Rivera and Salto.  Uruguayan wines are mostly varietal and should be consumed young. Some producers are investing in complex, full-bodied wines for more extended storage.

The historical Tannat grape is considered the emblematic grape of Uruguay and has different characteristics from its country of origin, France, where the wines are light and delicate.

Additionally, the wines of this grape in Uruguay have a deep color and delicious aromas of black fruits, jams, and chocolate and are very full-bodied, with soft and silky tannins.

Also read: History of Argentine Wine in Colonial Times

Want to read more? Try these books!

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