As the fourth-largest wine producer in South America (after Chile, Argentina, and Brazil), Uruguay is making its move onto the world stage of wine. Indeed, tiny Uruguay shares the same latitude as many other top grape growing regions including, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The French grape tannat is the star of the show, brought to Uruguay via Spain in the early 1700s. While only 24 of the 280 wineries in Uruguay currently export wine to the U.S., Uruguay’s wine exports have increased tenfold in the last decade, and are still rising.
All of these factors make Uruguay one of the wine regions to watch, and no one is more sure of this than international consultant winemaker Paul Hobbs, known as the "Prospector" for his ability to discover exceptional vineyards and bring those areas to prominence. He currently consults for wineries in California, Argentina, Chile, France, Canada, and Armenia. Last month, Hobbs announced that he has taken on the role of consulting winemaker for Juanicó Wines in Uruguay. The Deicas family founded the winery in 1979, and have hired Hobbs to improve the quality of their premium wine line. Hobbs joins two other renown wine consultants, Michel Rolland (Bodega Narbona) and Alberto Antonini (Bodegas Garzón), in the quest to elevate Uruguayan wines to international recognition. If you love South American wines, Uruguay should be on your radar.