Tannat Day 2023
April 14 was the Tannat Day, a date established by the National Institute of Viticulture of Uruguay in homage to Pascual Harriague, who was born on April 14, 1819 in France. Harriague, known as the father of Uruguayan viticulture, introduced the Tannat variety to our country in the 19th century.
The emblematic variety of Uruguay comes from the southwest of France, from one of the oldest wine-growing areas, the Madiran region, and is one of the most tannic varieties, with a high level of polyphenols in the seeds and in its skin.
The Uruguayan Tannat is considered unique in the world due to its particular characteristics. Our climate, soil and viticulture practices in Uruguay produce a Tannat with different characteristics from other regions in the world that produce this variety.
In Uruguay, Tannat is grown mainly in the southern region of the country, where the climatic conditions are ideal for its development. Thanks to its adaptability to the Uruguayan soil and climate, today it is also cultivated on the coast, north and east of the country. There are just over 1,500 hectares of Tannat currently planted in Uruguay, making it one of the countries with the largest area planted with this variety.
This 2023 we celebrate a new era of Tannat in Uruguay, which has to do with the new generation of winemakers, the evolution in production techniques, the diversification of types of wine starting from the same grape: Tannat.
In addition to still, elegant Tannat, fermented in steel or in concrete, aging in French or American oak barrels; today new Tannats are protagonists of the local scene and join the new current in the different markets. Natural or little-intervention tannats are born from the use of the amphora, an element used 2,000 years ago in the old world for the production, aging and storage of wine.
The new profiles of amphora wines contain a wide expression of fruit, freshness, but above all of the terroir, highlighting the soil in this process of using these clay containers, where they do not add flavor or aromas like oak barrels, they only preserve the purity of the wine highlighting the benefits of the grape.
The new generation of young winemakers in the sector, some of them being the 4th or 5th generation of their family to make wines, give a twist to the traditional Tannat, the robust, intense flavor, with a strong presence of wood; making it a delicate and balanced Tannat wine, with marked quality tannins, toasted notes, high astringency, overripe black fruit, fruity aroma, roses, quality acidity. Adding to the new natural tannats, others of carbonic maceration, open barrel, giving a new variant.
Within the framework of a new anniversary of Tannat Day, this year different celebrations were held in the main foreign markets for Uruguayan wine. We begin by celebrating March 30 in Sydney Australia at the Sydney Wine Center, with a Masterclass led by Master of Wine Robert Geddes.
On April 10 in São Paulo, Brazil, a luncheon for 40 guests was held to celebrate this day together with the most influential personalities in the world of wine in Brazil. The meeting took place at the prominent Uruguayan restaurant and grill, El Tranvía.
In Asunción, Paraguay, on Thursday the 13th, a lunch was held for high-level press, where Uruguayan wines were paired with the menu led by outstanding chef Fernando Ahlers from the San Pietro restaurant.
All these actions were the prelude to the live meeting that took place on April 14 on Instagram through the Uruguay Wine account. The English writer and journalist Amanda Barnes together with three prominent oenologists, representatives of the new generations (Santiago Deicas, Santiago Degasperi and Gabriel Pisano), talked about the new era of Tannat in Uruguay, highlighting its characteristics, the adaptability of the grape to the different terroirs, what is new in Uruguay, the best pairings and his personal experiences.
Uruguay's flagship Tannat strain is already recognized in the world of wine and chosen by international experts. There is a wide range of Uruguayan Tannat wines that can be found for every occasion, every pairing, whatever is chosen, there is no doubt that it will be a unique experience.
Every April 14 we celebrate and raise a glass of Tannat to the world.
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