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For the third consecutive year, we celebrated the Wine Tourism Weekend, touring the wineries of Carmelo and Colonia on November 11th and 12th.

It's an area we love to visit due to the variety of experiences and wineries it offers, allowing us to make each year's plan completely different from the last.

We designed an itinerary to visit several diverse wineries, while also marveling at the charms of Carmelo, the river, its views, and gastronomy.

The wineries we visited were:

Located in Paraje El Quintón, Colonia, this winery and olive oil plant belong to Marcelo Álvarez and Virginia Chivetti, an Argentine couple who fell in love with this region of our country and decided to start their venture from scratch there.

They produce olive oils in their own mill and wines in their own cellar, with winemaker Rolando Lazzarotti at the helm. It's also the only winery in Uruguay specialized in Malbec production.

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by Marcelo & Virginia and Facundo, the establishment's hospitality manager.

With Facundo, we toured the olive oil plant and the cellar. Later, in the cellar itself, we had a tasting of their olive oils and 3 of their wines, accompanied by a spectacular platter of local delicacies and their own olives from the groves.

Next, we were welcomed to the barbecue with a spectacular grill that we enjoyed alongside their wines and, obviously, the best company. It was undoubtedly an unbeatable start to the weekend.

We chose to visit it at night, which turned out to be the best decision. While it's beautiful during the day, exploring Narbona at night was a unique experience.

We were greeted by Cecilia Maquieira, the winery's sommelier, who besides being an excellent professional, is a delightful person.

With her, we toured the historic facilities, the winery, the underground cellar, and strolled through its incredible surroundings, where every corner transported us to the Italian Tuscany.

As if all that wasn't enough, the warm, starry night gave us one more reason to enjoy this magical place.

For dinner, an incredible table awaited us at their restaurant, where we indulged in an exquisite multi-course menu paired with a great selection of their wines. All our senses were heightened to live a unique sensory experience. It was a spectacular end to our first day.

A winery we love to visit because every time we're there, we feel like part of the family.

The Zubizarreta family settled in the lands near Carmelo, known as the old Calera de las Huérfanas, over sixty years ago. They are the third generation, the dream of a Basque immigrant who arrived in this place in the early 20th century with nothing to lose and a strong desire to succeed.

Over three generations, they've perfected their art of winemaking, offering a range of young and fruity wines that highlight the unique qualities of each grape variety, incorporating new technologies to obtain high-quality wines.

We were welcomed by Mariela Zubizarreta (third generation) and her daughter Isabella (fourth generation and the winery's sommelier).

With them, we learned about the family's history and enjoyed a great selection of their premium wines: Tannat 2020, Marselan 2020, Tannat-Marselan Blend 2021, Arinarnoa Family Collection 2022, and Albariño 2023, all accompanied by local delights and exquisite bites prepared by Isabella, who, in addition to being a sommelier, is a nutritionist.

As we've said before, visiting Zubizarreta feels wonderful—a charming, endearing place with beautiful energy and exquisite wines, always accompanied by delicious treats.

Adrián Conde, its owner, a notary by profession, started this venture driven by his passion for wine and gastronomy.

Just over 4 years ago, he opened the El Quincho restaurant and planted some hectares of vineyards to produce his own wines for the restaurant's consumption.

During the initial years, he produced wines from his vineyards at Bodega Fripp, also in Colonia.

But less than a year ago, the dream of having his own winery came true. According to Adrián, "thanks to a stroke of luck from destiny," and along with that dream, a natural name change occurred, and this project became 'Pueblo Tannat Winery,' inspired by his love for the land and our flagship grape variety.

We were greeted by Adrián and sommelier Juan Sabot, responsible for hospitality.

With them, we toured the winery and enjoyed a tasting of their best wines, accompanied by a platter of local delights. Later, we had lunch at the winery's restaurant, with the same quality and variety of dishes that we already

knew and that continue to be extraordinary.

We loved visiting them, witnessing such well-deserved growth, and closing a dreamy weekend there.

Additionally, as it's a 'must-do,' we sailed for an hour along the northern Río de la Plata, passing between the islands of the coastline in a unique setting where we could admire a sunset that couldn't have been more perfect.

Onboard, we enjoyed delicious snacks, accompanied by craft beers, soft drinks, and wines from Narbona Winery.

It's a classic of our weekend in Carmelo; no matter the itinerary, this activity is always one of our favorites.

Thanks a lot to all the friends who accompanied us and made another Wine Tourism Weekend in Carmelo possible.

Until the next edition in 2024!!


Photos: Tavis Davidson

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