A family business focussing on producing quality wine not quantity!
The winery was born as a family business, stimulated by their love of the countryside and their products.
The family have always believed that working on smaller scales produces better outcomes and they take great care in applying this to every stage of the winemaking process, from the vineyard to the glass of wine. This in turn is how they reflect our “personality” in their wines.
Wines of Uruguay
The grapes they produce are Albariño and Chardonnay as white varieties and Merlot, Tempranillo and Tannat as red varieties, being this last one the variety that identifies the wines of Uruguay. The Tannat wines have given the family great satisfaction lately with different awards at international level.
The business is a member Winery of Uruguay and of Wines of Uruguay, an organization committed to promoting the quality and image of Uruguayan wine throughout the world.
The vineyards are in two traditional vine growing regions on the south of Uruguay, very close to the sea. The vineyards are on fertile, well drained soils, with differentiated soil layers and the presence of Calcium Carbonate, important in the wine making process.
These characteristics make them suitable for making concentrated wines with long cellaring potential.
Melilla soils are dark coloured, of medium texture and slightly acidic. In contrast, at Las Violetas the soils originate from sedimentary or volcanic rocks, providing good rooting conditions for the vines.
The soils have a permanent varied grass and flower covering, forming an adequate habitat for insects, promoting good fertilization of the vines hence having a varied population with ecological control.
Uruguay is in the southern hemisphere where seasons are defined. The climate has great similarities with Bordeaux and the proximity of the ocean moderates the summer temperatures, which rarely exceed 34°C.
These climatic changes demand that they work very hard on the vineyards, but the rewards are great strong, individual and complex wines, which vary from year to year.
The vines are at a stage of maturity where they will produce up to 10kg per year if left but to differentiate the vines are pruned by hand to offer a yield of only 1.5kg of grapes per vine. This is to concentrate all the energy and nutrients into the grape which carries through to the end quality of the product.
The grapes are harvested in March and the harvest had just been completed the processing of the grapes is mechanical and the juice is tested for a number of characteristics and decisions made on the process to make the wine.
The traditional fermenting process is gone through and the wine is then barrelled and left to mature in the cellars under the winery and that is basically it until bottling is required!
The wine tasting then followed and a number of wines were available to taste along with a lunch Buffet, Risotto and desert to accompany!
Having sampled a few wines in my time and avoided buying Uruguayan wine as it was an unknown quantity, the buying policy has changed, and I will be seeking out Tannat from Uruguay!
You can purchase the wines in the UK from,
LAYTONS WINE MERCHANTS LTD,
7-9 Elliot’s Place