After our incredible experience of last year, we clebrated once again the Uruguayan Wine Tourism Weekend by touring the Carmelo and Colonia wineries on November 12th and 13th.
For this year we thought of an itinerary so that we could visit several wineries that are very different from each other, in addition to marveling at the charms of Carmelo, the River, its views and gastronomy.
This was our first day: Saturday
The first winery visited was Los Cerros de San Juan.
It is the oldest winery in Uruguay, declared a historical monument and patrimony of the nation.
In 2019 it was acquired by an Argentine investment group (the same owners of Colonia Express), which reconverted the old facilities, adding technology to make high-end wines, as well as planting new vineyards and olive groves.
Today this winery has state-of-the-art equipment, assembled with a heritage that very few wineries have in Uruguay. That is why we do not hesitate to include it in our itinerary.
We were received by the sommelier Johana Vázquez, with whom we toured the renovated winery and then in its newly opened restaurant, where a general store used to work, we enjoyed an exquisite lunch where, in addition to delicious food, we were divinely attended by all the staff.
Am incredible beginig to start this dream weekend.
The second winery visited was Bodega El Legado.
It is always a pleasure to visit this charming place, a must stop for those who travel to this area.
We were received by María Marta, with her usual warmth, making us feel at home, as in each visit.
With a table in the shade of the trees in her beautiful garden, deliciud snacks and wines, we spent a memorable afternoon.
On Saturday we close it as it has already become a classic: sailing!
We sail for an hour along the north of the Río de la Plata, passing between the islands of the coast in a unique setting where we can watch the sunset. On board we enjoyed an exquisite snack accompanied by soft drinks, beers and wines from Bodega Narbona.
After saling, we had dinner at Basta Pedro Restaurant, with a beautiful setting and views of the river and first-class cuisine.
We can't imagine a better way to close the first day of the weekend!
On Sunday we got up after a restful sleep at Hotel Los Muelles and after a delicious breakfast, we went for the first winery of the day, located in Colonia Estrella: Bodega Cordano – Almacén de La Capilla.
This is a family winery with a long history in Carmelo, opened in 1955 by Italian immigrants from Piedmont. It is currently run by Ana Paula Cordano and her husband Diego, who are already the fifth generation of the family.
We were received with an incredible table under the shade of the vine, full of delicacies from the area that we enjoyed together with a selection of its most iconic wines.
We toured the winery and the family museum in the establishment's cellar and were able to buy regional products in its emblematic store.
Without a doubt, it was an unbeatable start to Sunday, another must stop for anyone going to Carmelo.
Barely 1 block from there, there were waiting for us at our second stop of the day: Bodega Campotinto.
It was inaugurated in 2013 initially as a winery, but over the years it became an experience among its vineyards, adding an inn and a restaurant. We were hoted by Pepe, the sommelier who manages the winery's tourist service, who was waiting for us in the vineyard to taste 4 wines along with a delicious snack. We toured the winery, we had an incredible time and we each took home a bottle of Tannat as a gift!
Then we head towards the town of Conchillas, where our last winery of the day is located and which would be the great closing of our weekend: Bodega Fripp.
It is a family business with a young and entrepreneurial spirit dedicated to working with passion to carry out a project that has not stopped growing. They started in September 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, but nothing can go wrong for those who work so hard.
There we were received by Leandro Fripp and his wife Beatriz who were waiting for us with a beautiful table to enjoy a delicious lunch accompanied by their best wines.
It was a beautiful closing for a weekend that we can define as “angeled”, because everything was aligned so that we could enjoy Carmelo, a charming place, even the weather, which was waiting until we got on the bus back to start the so expected and announced rain.
Impossible to ask for more. Thank you very much to everyone who received us at the wineries, at the Port, at the hotel and treated us divinely, making us feel special.
And of course, infinite thanks to the friends who accompanied us and made possible another memorable weekend.
Until the next Wine Tourism Weekend in Carmelo 2023 edition!
Photos: Tavis Davidson