On the weekend of October 7 to 9, for first time in 8 years of visiting Uruguayan wineries, we fulfilled the dream of being able to visit wineries in the North of the country, where in addition to a Uruguayan winery, we visited 2 wineries in Brazil.
The trip was specifically to the "Frontera de la Paz", as the border between the city of Rivera (Uruguay) and Sant'Ana Do Livramento (Brazil) is known.
It was a trip developed to allow us to visit 3 very different wineries, experience their stories, as well as marvel at the charms of the city of Rivera, its surroundings and fascinating landscapes. A completely different experience from what we are used to seeing in the south and east of Uruguay in Montevideo, Canelones and Maldonado.
Below we tell you in detail the chronicle of our trip:
Visit to Bodega Cerro Chapeu (Rivera, Uruguay)
We started the day very early, there we were received by Angie Pereira and Mileny.
Along with Angie, we toured the impressive 4-level winery constructed into a hillside to optimize resources and use gravity for minimal intervention during vinification. They are pioneers in the Americas to use this design.
Then we visited the cellar where we can see historical wines stored there and we were also able to taste some of them directly from the barrels themselves.
Later, together with Mileny, we went to the recently opened panoramic viewpoint and restaurant, where we enjoyed an exquisite lunch of several courses by the chef of the winery Rodrigo Caggiani, accompanied by a great selection of wines.
After lunch, we had the privilege of doing the “Native Flora Observation Walk”, together with the specialist agronomist Andrés Berrutti, in the native mount near the viewpoint, with the extraordinary environment of the “path of the line”, outlining the frames of the dividing line between Brazil and Uruguay. It was a pleasure to listen to him, like an open book and to have been lucky enough to learn so much about the native flora.
At night our Saturday dinner was at the Hotel Casino Rivera, a beautiful place with very delicious dishes that we accompany with wines from Bodegas Carrau.
Visit to the Almadén Winery of the Miolo Group (Brazil)
It is located in the interior of Santana do Livramento, just 20 kilometers from the city of Rivera, in the heart of Campanha Gaúcha.
With 950 hectares of planted grapes (the largest in South America), they produce wines and sparkling wines that follow the trend of the New World: young and fruity.
They have 25 vineyard varieties, which give rise to 13 Almadén line labels (5 whites, 1 rosé, and 7 reds). It is also the largest exporter of wines from the neighboring country.
Just a month ago, the winery inaugurated a new tasting room and a free shop in the same establishment, where nearly 120 Miolo Group wines can be purchased with a 30% discount.
There we were received by Vivian, with whom we toured the winery, the museum and the panoramic viewpoint from where you can see the vineyards and the characteristic Cerro de Palomas.
To close, we tasted 3 of their wines, one young white and two reds, and of course, before continuing on our way to visit the next winery, we took the opportunity to buy a few wines at very convenient prices, to continue enjoying in the return to Uruguay.
Cordillera de Sant´Ana Winery (Brazil)
It was the third and last winery of our trip.
Located in the “Cerro Palomas” terroir, it is owned by winemakers Gladistão Omizolo and Rosana Wagner, who came together to fulfill an old dream: to make great wines.
To do this, in 1999 they launched the project from scratch.
Today they produce wines of exceptional quality, supplying the Brazilian market with wines of international recognition.
When we planned this visit, we never imagined that we would find such wonderful people there.
Its owners could not be present because they were in São Paulo, so we were received by Marcia, who has worked in the winery since the begining, and Amir, both so adorable and so happy to receive us that we felt like being at a friends house.
They waited for us with exquisite snacks and Marcia herself had prepared the salads for our lunch and typical Brazilian desserts. Everything was a great dedication to receive us.
After lunch, we toured the winery, its industrial area, and its terrace with the most beautiful view of Sant'ana do Livramento: Cerro de Palomas.
We never get tired of saying it: experiences are created by people, and the human quality of this small winery is so great that our weekend wine tourism closure could not have been better.
Closing Dinner at Carlos Gardel Restaurant (Rivera, Uruguay)
We wanted to do something special to bring us all together once again. Chat about what we shared during those two days, thank everyone for trusting in this proposal that was totally new for everyone, and of course, carry out the classic and long awaited raffles that are already part of our experiences.
The chosen place was the Carlos Gardel Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in the city of Rivera, which opened its doors on a Sunday night especially for us.
Lilián, the owner of the place, was attentive to the organization of our dinner, and then there, she joined our festivities, giving us bottles of wine and other products of her brand to add them to our raffles.
It was the perfect night to say goodbye to the cities of Rivera and Santana Do Livramento, their lovely people, their landscapes, their exquisite gastronomy, their wines and so much more...
We leave a little piece of heart there with the desire to repeat it next year.
Thanks a lot to all the people in the wineries who received us with such affection; to the Frontier Hotel for accommodating us and exceeding our expectations; to Margarita Carrau for her ideas and recommendations; to Andrés Berrutti for his generosity in sharing his knowledge; to Lilián from Carlos Gardel Restaurant, to Ilitour Viajes for taking us with all the cares and of course and very special, to all the friends who joined this adventure with us and made this dream trip possible!
We are already thinking about the next edition next year!