There are many things the country of Uruguay is known for. Among them, soccer, asado and tango tend to come to mind. However, the tiny South American country excels at something else too, something that is often overshadowed by Argentina and Chile…wine.
It might be a small country, yet that small size doesn’t seem to be deterring it from stepping up into the competition for wine production. In fact, the growth of Brazil’s wine market is really a positive force for Uruguayan wines. Furthermore, Brazil’s tourism to Uruguay is also growing and that spells big growth for this little land brimming with wine.
The majority of Brazilian wine drinkers love to try new styles of wine. Brazilians are very open to newness and for this reason, many of them happily cross the border to sample Uruguay’s wines. In fact, the Uruguayan Chamber of Tourism states that around half a million Brazilians come to Uruguay each year to luxuriate in the resorts and on the sunny beaches as well as partake in cultural activities, part of which includes wine tourism.
Wineries in Uruguay confirm this with the majority of tourists that come through being noted as Brazilian. They come to the wineries and engage in tastings, and Uruguay is quite ready to embrace the barrage of happy wine-loving tourists from all over the globe.
There is one thing though that could further catapult Uruguay into wine-stardom in South America. If it diversifies a little more, it may see even more of a boom in tourism and wine sales. Tannat, the best-known grape variety in Uruguay, is also the one that has the most focus. And for good reason! It’s very full-bodied and tannic, and it boasts the highest level of antioxidants over other red grape varieties. It thrives here from the soil and climate and is capable of making magnificent wine from the grape that in its homeland of France could never thrive.
However, other varieties shouldn’t be overlooked all in the name of Tannat. Merlot and Cabernet from Uruguay are nothing short of spectacular. Albariños are also emerging with full potential. Having more variety translates to having more of a global reach.
Speaking of reaching the rest of the globe though, Uruguay is smartly shifting to engage with consumers in the digital world. In Brazil alone, many wine drinkers buy their bottles online. The UK and China top that list (sent out by the Online Retail and Communications in 2018), though other countries are getting on the trend.
With a versatile and easy interface on websites and apps, wine producers in Uruguay have complete control of surpassing Chile and Argentina simply by being more accessible. On top of that, becoming more visible by education those in the wine trade and consumers is how the tiny country is set to climb to the top.
One sip and you’ll see why Uruguayan wine will be the next big thing. While its been around for a while, by utilizing marketing and avenues of modern exposure, it will reach more palates and become more common on the shelves of your local wine shop and on the menus of your favorite dining establishments.