Nestled in the heart of South America, tucked between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is a country rich in beauty, culture and gastronomy. A bit off-the-beaten path, it also remains shrouded in mystery for most tourists outside of Latin America. The launch of Bodega Garzón, the most sustainable winery in Uruguay, however, has put the country on the map. Now we have even more reasons to visit.
The first time Alejandro Bulgheroni ventured into Uruguay’s Garzón region, he “felt the magic of the land.” He purchased 10,000 acres and hasn’t looked back since. Located just over 100 miles outside of Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo, Garzón consists of a verdant, rolling landscape with terroir similar to that of Tuscany.
Convinced the soil had ideal conditions to grow grapes, Bulgheroni immediately saw its potential. He tapped Italian winemaker Alberto Antonini to come on board, bringing his vision for Bodega Garzón to life. More than 10 years , and $100 million later, the stunning winery is boosting year-round tourism for the entire country.
The first LEED certified winery outside of North America, Bodega Garzón is also the first in the world to achieve certification for its entire facility. A leader in energy and environmental design, the winery provides an innovative example that all wineries should model. Hidden among acres of lush, green vineyards, the exterior is grand. Clean, contemporary lines, glass and stone blend perfectly with landscaping that enhances the land’s biodiversity.
The thoughtful architecture incorporated pre-existing rock formations into the modern design, adding interesting juxtapositions throughout the winery. Touches incorporating nature like this are part of what make this the most sustainable winery in Uruguay.
Wine Production and Innovation
The uber efficient facilities maximize the use of energy resources while generating wind and photovoltaic energy. Three fermentation aging areas have stainless steel containers and epoxy-free concrete tanks. Oak truncated cone-shaped vats allow wines to fully express the character of the terroir. Translation…the wines are sustainably made and decadent to drink.
Emanating five-star luxury, Bodega Garzón’s brand of warm Latin hospitality is without pretension. The winery welcomes visitors for tours, private meals, cooking classes, events, and, most importantly, the opportunity to taste elegantly constructed wines at very reasonable price points. Local favorites include Tannat, Albariño and Balasto, which is a blend of Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Marselan.
MICHELLE ARELLANO MARTIN