Tim Atkin's Visit to Uruguay – January 2023
Tim Atkin's Visit to Uruguay – January 2023

The British journalist and Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, visited Uruguay last week of January (from Tuesday the 24th to Sunday the 29th of January) with the aim of once again writing a report on Uruguay and its wines in 2023.

Tim Atkin, Master of Wine and renowned writer with more than 35 years of experience in the field, is co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, a leading international blind tasting contest with the most rigorous judges in the world. Additionally, he writes for major publications such as Harpers, Decanter, The World of Fine Wine, Gourmet Traveler Wine, and the Drinks Business. He integrates and is one of the Three Wine Men. In his career, he already has more than 30 awards won for his journalism and photographs.

The main objective of his visit and brief six-day tour of Uruguay was to taste nearly 300 wines from more than 30 exporting wineries in the country.

His tour included wineries in the west, central south and east of the country, tasting the wines, visiting their vineyards and observing the prelude to the 2023 vintage.

The tour began in the west, visiting the establishments of Los cerros de San Juan in Colonia and Narbona in Carmelo; continuing south to the wineries: Artesana, Antigua Bodega, De Lucca, Pizzorno, Pisano, Viña Progreso and Establecimiento Juanicó. In the east he visited Sierra Oriental, Compañía Uruguaya de Vinos de Mar, Alto de la Ballena, Cerro del Toro, Bracco Bosca, Garzón and Bouza's new restaurant in Las Espinas.

Invited by INAVI - Uruguay Wine to this tour of the country, as part of its program to promote Uruguayan wine exports, on Thursday, January 26, Atkin also visited the Institute's new headquarters in the city of Las Piedras, where the a wine tasting from more than 20 wineries. The day began at 1:00 p.m. and lasted about 7 hours, where the producers presented, tasted, and chatted with Atkin about his wines and production methods. Around 20:30 the meeting ended with more than 130 wines tasted by the critic. The participating wineries in this instance were: Familia Traversa, Giménez Méndez, Dardanelli, Viggiano Garage, Barras de Mahoma, El Capricho, Casa Grande, Oceánica José Ignacio, Spinoglio, Bresesti, Famiglia Passadore Wineries and Vineyards, Leonardo Flacone Winery, Piccolo Banfi, Cerro Chapeu, Marichal, Viña Edén, Nakkal Project, Pablo Fallabrino, Becasina, Bohemia By Fiore.

“This has been my third visit to Uruguay and it was the best of all: we have tried more wines, visited more wineries and tasted better quality. I am convinced that Uruguayan wine has a better future than ever, a very encouraging future."

He also highlighted the quality and high level of the wines tasted, the reds with their harmony and balance and the relief of the whites with strains such as Albariño, increasingly present in Uruguayan vineyards. Confirming that the path undertaken by the producers a few years ago is bearing fruit and there is still a lot to grow.

“The Uruguayan Tannat is known throughout the world for its qualities and its freshness. The Albariño never ceases to amaze me, every year there are better examples that express the Uruguayan terroir.”

The Uruguayan sommelier Gabriela Zimmer was part of the tour and wine tasting, supporting MW Tim Atkin with his knowledge of national wines and in preparing the future report on Uruguay 2023.