AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 44
Name of wine estate: Bodega Bouza
Wine region: Montevideo/Canelones
Standout points: Arguably Uruguay’s best Tannat; an improbably large collection of classic cars
Winemaker: Eduardo Boido
Wine style: Cool-climate coastal wines; traditional methods, modern cellar
Bodega Bouza’s winemaker, Dr Eduardo Boido, is considered Uruguay’s foremost authority on all things Tannat, Uruguay’s signature grape. It’s a combination of his expertise, meticulous, berry-by-berry grape sorting, and ultra-careful, low-intervention work in the cellar that make Bouza Tannat the best you’ll taste in this exciting emerging wine nation.
A change of direction
Prior to earning their reputation for making the best Tannat in Uruguay (they also make excellent Albariño, Tempranillo, Chardonnay and Merlot, while Pinot Noir has also been planted), the Bouzas were a baking family. It was husband and wife team Juan and Elisa’s love of the countryside and of wine that drew them to winemaking in Canelones in the late 1990s. Their first vintage, after remodeling an old winery which was in operation in the 50s and 60s, was as recent as 2003. Their charming winery is located just 15 minutes’ drive from downtown Montevideo (round-trip transportation to and from the city is offered).
Bring an appetite
The Bouza family strives to give its visitors to the bodega an experience to remember. Tours of the La Redención, Las Violetas, Pan de Azúcar, and Las Espinas vineyards, winery and barrel cellar are available to groups large and small. Guests also have the chance to taste through the fantastic range with delicious food pairings at the on-site restaurant, which uses artisanal cheese, milk, and vegetables from local Melilla producers. As you’d expect in Uruguay, where beef makes up 99.8% of the national diet, meat is a speciality (try the simply fried sweetbreads with a chilled glass of Albariño). The à la carte lunch with a five-course menu and wine pairing is recommended.
The engine room
Tastings are also available seated among the family’s improbably large collection of classic cars and motorcycles, in the light airy Bouza Garage. Strange but true: Juan Bouza spent years accumulating everything from antique T Model Fords to Messershmidt three-wheelers.