Wine, Olive Oil and the Good Life in Uruguay
Our first lunch was laid out like a last supper. There, in the middle of a vineyard, underneath a billowing white cotton tent, a long wooden table had been set up, every inch of it covered with platters of food. There was the stuff you might expect at a picnic: bread, homemade and chewy; wedges of various cheeses arranged on wooden cutting boards; paper-thin slivers of prosciutto and salami. Then there were the local specialties — bowls of creamy spinach dip, stacks of freshly baked empanadas, stuffed with tuna and still steaming. And finally the wine, bottles of the heavy stuff this area was famous for and what brought us here in the first place.
Uruguay’s Punta del Este has long been a glamorous jet-set destination. But the country also boasts a decidedly laid-back, rustic-chic beach scene.
In the pantheon of eternal underdogs, there will always be a special place for Uruguay, the small, flat, and mostly featureless country that’s known mainly for lacking the world-class attractions of its nearest neighbors, Argentina and Brazil…
In Uruguay, Bohemian-Chic at the Beach
WHEN summer arrives in December, La Pedrera’s main street bustles with families dining al fresco, sandy-haired teenagers hanging out in board shorts, jazz musicians entertaining passers-by and artisans selling handmade jewelry on makeshift stands.
Your Next Winter Escape: Punta Del Este in Uruguay
“The Hamptons of Buenos Aires” is the easy shorthand for Punta del Este, a reference to the fact that well-off Porteños started building their summer retreats here a century ago. But I prefer the “St. Barth of South America,” as this sunny, sandy sliver of Uruguayan coast is now also a magnet for Brazilians, drawn by the safety, plus a smattering of international jet-setters. It’s also more casual than most millionaires’ playgrounds—I’ve never taken “barefoot luxury” so literally: At two prestigious establishments here, I followed the lead of other guests and kicked off my shoes at the door.
Uruguay’s boutique wineries
“I love creating new blends, experimenting with grapes and techniques, and taking risks. Any winery today can hire an oenologist and make standard wines. But it’s about the process. If I had to make the same wine all the time to the same standard…” said boutique winemaker Pablo Fallabrino, before trailing off and bursting into laughter.