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From all the South American countries, Uruguay is probably the most underestimated one. Hidden like a mystery between Brazil and Argentina, this verdant and sea fronting country, has more to offer than you might think, and even more so if you are an admirer of the delicate art of making wine.
Uruguay is filled with beauty and liveliness which you will witness in your very first minutes in the country. From the summery Atlantic beaches, to the UNESCO awarded city Colonia del Sacramento, or, the two-month Carnaval celebration filled with candombe sounds (a type of music and dance originated from the African slaves in the 19th century); everything in Uruguay goes hand in hand with feelings of joy.
On this 7 day trip you will see beautiful landscapes but most importantly get the chance to experience the rich winery culture in Uruguay. You will firstly visit the Irurtia Bodega winery, followed by a few more visits to other wineries - El Legado; Juanico; Bouza; and Varela Zarranz. You will get in touch with the vast Uruguayan history, you will meet passionate oenologists, and most importantly, you will be able to walk through the beautiful vineyards while tasting some of the wine created from them.
Irurtia Bodega Winery
El Legado Winery
Varela Zarranz Winery
Any element of this holiday can be truly individual to your requirements, including the places you want to see and the things that are important to you. Just contact one of our Travel Specialists today.
Start off this fantastic 7-day holiday in Colonia; you will arrive at the Colonia port and from there you will take a private transfer that will drive you to your hotel in Carmelo. After check-in you can enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. You can go on your first wander around Carmelo as there is so much to see in this western Uruguayan town. From the sunny beaches to the typical wineries, the main famous square 'Plaza Independencia', to the most important cultural spots (make sure to visit 'Casa de la Cultura'); all that you will find here is aligned with beauty and a sense of peace.
Your second day will be dedicated to going on a visit and wine tasting at Irurtia Bodega, and later on to 'Almacen de la Capilla'. There will be a pick up from your hotel that will take you to both locations and afterwards back to the hotel. Your first visit will be to the Irurtia Wineray, which is a family business that started its journey back in the second half of the 19th Century, when Basque Don Lorenzo arrived in Uruguay. While on the tour you will be able to taste the wine as well as learn more about the first harvest (back in 1923) as well as learn more about the passion and dedication necessary to cultivate vines. Next on your itinerary for the day comes 'Almacen de la Capilla', this old general store is located in Colonia Estella and is surrounded by vineyards. Here you will surely be taken to another era as each detail inside is filled with an unique, old-fashioned charm. It was founded back in 1955 by Antonia Cordano, and is now in the hands of the fifth-generation of family. A little tip – Make sure to as to see the diminutive wine cellar, which is hidden beneath a trap door just behind the counter.
After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel lobby for a visit and wine tasting at the “El Legado Winery”. Located in the Department of Colonia and in the middle of the Wine Route, this small winery is one that holds a heart-warming story behind its name. - “Legado” was in fact the name of the owner's father, a farmer, who dreamt of having his own winery. Even though his dream never came to life, his efforts are still remembered today as the family has made him a lovely homage by naming the winery after him. Another unique trait that makes this winery one of a kind, is its rare training system, known as the 'Vertical Cordon system'. This is a great method as it helps the grapes mature quicker despite the tricky climate. The result is a fruit of very high quality from which they produce two different labels - the Tannat reserve 2011 and the Syrah reserve 2012. After your tour of the Tannat and Syrah vineyards, the tasting sessions will follow in a spacious and attractive room.
Start the day as usual with a rich breakfast followed by a private transfer to Montevideo. You will stay in this beautiful city for the next 3 days and you can start exploring it throughout the rest of the day at your own leisure. Montevideo is known for its historic art-deco and neoclassical buildings, skyscrapers, beach communities, theatres and tango bars. The main downtown shopping street, 18 de Julio, is great to visit as it has lots of little shops, cafés where you can unwind, while getting acquainted with the city. Overall, Montevideo is filled with history and liveliness and despite being the capital, there are still places you can go to get
some peace and quiet. All you have to do is look at the beautiful coastal beaches and breath in the marine breeze.
On this day you will visit two different wineries, the Juanico Winery, and the Bouza Winery. It will be a full day with lots of wine tasting, good food, and several new insights into the art of making great wine. As usual there will be a pick up service from your hotel that will take to the tours and then back, so that comfort is always present throughout the course each activity. After driving for about 37km from Montevideo you will finally arrive at the first tour location. Upon arrival take a tour to the vineyard and let the excitement begin. The Juanico Winery is a family-run business that grew out of love from the countryside and its products. Their cellars date back to 1840 and their core beliefs reside in working on smaller scales in order to achieve better outcomes and apply this mindset in every stage of the winemaking process. Their product is therefore a result of love, care and detail. You will get the chance to taste the wines accompanied by snacks such as local cheese, bread and cure meats. Next on your itinerary for the day comes a visit to Bouza Winery where you will have a lovely 3-course lunch. The Bouza Winery is located 15km from Montevideo and is surrounded by beautiful and diverse nature that ranges from native plants to animals due to the Santa Lucia river being only a short distance from there. As a family-run business the Bouza Winery believes in placing great care in all stages of the wine making process beginning with the vineyard work till the moment the wine is service in the glass. You will visit the Melilla area of the property and the tour will begin with a visit to the vineyards and explanation of the wine process, followed by a stroll around surroundings which include a wide range of fauna and flora. Another unique feature of the Bouza Winery is the owner’s private collection exhibition of antique cars. Here you will see classics such as Ford Model T from 1926; Ford A, Citroens from 1950 and 1980, Alfa Romeo Spider 1960 and 1926 train wagons and more. You will also be taken to the cave where all wine is kept. The tour will end with a lovely 3-course lunch accompanied by Bouza's exquisite wines.
This day will be dedicated to yet another winery tour, this time to the Varela Zarranz Winery. After your pick-up from the hotel the day starts, so make sure to keep an eye on the beautiful landscape and take pictures to hold the memories. The Varela Zarranz like all the other ones, is a family-run business that dates back to 1933. Here you will witness a perfect balance between the old and the new as the new generations keep bringing renovations to this traditional business by modernizing the production process with state of the art technology. Be prepared for a day of lots of new information on the winery business as the oenologists take you through the tour. The Varela Zarranz Winery's success is a result of the several passionate and enthusiastic people that work to create great wine every day. You will be able to witness this face to face while tasting the wine. For an extra dosage of historic charm, pay close attention to the warehouse which was built at the end of the 19th century, as well as the cellar located in the central building, which is equally interesting, and dates back to 1892.
On the last day in Uruguay you will start by having your breakfast as usual followed by hotel check-out and finally a private transfer (with guide) to Montevideo Port where you can take a ferry to Buenos Aires and from there your flight home.
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