I am a passionate wine lover and a motivated sommelier-to-be. That is why travelling in South America means discovering nature and culture, but just as much learning more about the different wines of this part of the world. Stefan is not as interested in the details as I am, but he likes the tasting, so I guess he does not mind too much visiting the wineries with me.
A few days ago we visited the Pizzorno Family Estate north of Montevideo, in the Canelones region, east of Las Piedras. The 20 hectares family-owned company was founded in 1910. The wines are made of 11 different grape varieties.
I can hardly describe how amazing it was. As we arrived, Francisco Pizzorno, the fourth generation in the Bodega, nicely welcomed us. Luckily he spoke English really well, as our Spanish is not yet good enough for two hours of wine talk. He told us a few facts about the winery and showed us their wines. After that, Lucio Alonso, one of the winemakers showed us the wine cellar (the highlight for me was the part of the sparkling wines made with the méthode traditionelle) and the winery. He could answer all my questions (!), finding a great balance between professional and funny. We felt really good. After the detailed and very interesting tour, we tasted five wines, two of which were from 2017 (in the southern part of the world the grape harvest is in February or March).
A fresh wine, pleasant to the taste, with hints of passion fruit, grapefruit and peach and a great acidity. Perfect for a summer night, for an aperitif or with fish.
An untypical Tannat, which made me think of a Beaujolais Nouveau, only a little more complex. A light and easy-drinking wine with hints of raspberries and cherries.
Classic Tannat, very complex, very intense. 1 year in an American oak barrel. Pairing very well with red meat.
Tannat 60%, Malbec 30%, Cabarnet Sauvignon 10%. A delicate and beautifully aged wine with a long finish.
Sauvignon Blanc 100%. There is no frost in Uruguay, therefore the grapes need to be frozen before the pressing. Then it is aged in French oak barrels for one year. It is a fresh sweet wine, not too sticky in the mouth, so enjoyable, perfect match with dulce de leche.
This was not my first visit of a winery, but it definitely was one of the best. I got answers to all my questions, tried amazing wines with some empanadas (Uruguayan dumplings filled with cheese, beef or ham) and got a full visit of a quality winery by a friendly, professional and funny wine maker! Thanks Lucio! Thanks Francisco!
Pizzorno Family Estate
Ruta 32, km 23, Canelones