Winery/Producer: Familia Deicas Winery; Juanicó, Uruguay
Appellation: Uruguay, South America.
Location: Juanicó, Uruguay
Grape Variety Tasted:
Sauvignon Blanc ($20)
Progreso – Tannat/Cabernet Franc/Pinot Gris/Merlot ($35)
Red Preludio Barrel Select ($55)
Licor de Tannet – Port Style ($45)
Tasting Price: Unknown
Comments: We learned about the Familia Deicas Winery because it was the only vineyard tour offered by Cunard in Montevideo. The tour was billed as a wine tasting at the Juanicó Vineyard, but we quickly found that was the name of the historical vineyard and it had recently been sold to new owners and consequently the name change. We also learned this was the largest vineyard in Uruguay, which didn’t mean much since we know absolutely nothing about Uruguay’s wine production. With that as background it’s easy to say we didn’t have high expectations.
When we went through the entrance gate, then drove what appeared to be a couple of miles to the actual winery buildings, we saw well tended vines and a large number of new plantings and our expectations began to soar. It was the end of their growing season and most of the vines had been picked. However there was one large block of Tannat that was still on the vine and we were told those grapes would be harvested within a week. I’ve not tasted Tannet in the field, but I was surprised how much sweetness was in the grapes
Anay, our tasting host was simply outstanding. Her English was impeccable and she gave us background on what was a very historical vineyard. Then she took us to different parts of the winery starting with a large block of Tannet grapes that was just about ready for picking. From there we saw grapes being loaded in the press, than off to the original cellar lined with barrels of aging wine. When substantive questions were asked she had factual answers, knew wines and was a fantastic representative for the Familia Deicas Winery.
Recommendation from the tasting: Uruguay is not the kind of place you just happen to wander by, but possibly if you were on a South American wine tasting trip, we would recommend both a tasting and the wines from the Familia Deicas Winery. For us it was a special experience and the very gracious staff did an outstanding job of providing nibbles with the wines. Pours were good, information about each wine abounded and the basic five wine tasting was not their entry level wines. For us it was a unique experience seeing a Pampas vineyard and tasting their wines. And, one last comment: we were with a bus load of people and in California when a bus load of wine tasters arrives the facility gets so crowded that it’s simply time to leave. The Familia Deicas Winery facility was more than adequate with both small areas and a large dinning room that could be also used for vineyard parties.
GREAT wine, GREAT people and GREAT wine tasting!!!