Despite being the 4th largest wine producer in Latin America, Uruguay still prides itself on producing some quality white and red wines.
Wine production here only started back in the 18th century and has taken inspiration from both Spanish and French wineries over the years, with Tannat now being the country’s signature red wine of choice.
However, Uruguay doesn’t just have red wine regions, they also produce and bring some fresh, delicate whites to the table with some even being sold on a mass scale internationally.
Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are big players in the white wine industry in Uruguay, but since 2010, the new favorite is the Albariño white grape. The Albariño wine is typically paired with fresh white fish and lighter meats.
Whether you’re planning a visit to Uruguay any time soon, or looking to spot a quality Uruguayan white one on the menu at a local restaurant, then I’ll be guiding you through the 10 amazing Uruguayan white wines.
I’ve also noted the year of each wine as some notes and elements of the individual wine may change throughout the years depending on the harvest, so if my comments have interested you about a particular wine then make sure to buy the correct year.
The Bodega Bouza wines are some of the most popular wines you’ll find in Uruguay, so it’s no surprise that their Albariño found their way to the top of the list.
The Bouza family name has Galician roots and you’ll find very similarities with this 2013 white wine to the ones native to the Iberian coast.
This Albariño has authentic notes of citrus and lees giving it an almost vanilla essence to the well-layered wine. It’s soft on the nose, with noticeable hints of pears and pineapple whilst the fruits are more firm on the palette.
It would be the perfect companion with some fresh seafood or with a rich cheese board to finish your meal.
There’s a reason as to why this is amongst the top 2% of wines in the world and it’s because it’s simply unforgettable. It has a beautiful golden color with a soft buttery finish that goes down so smoothly.
If you like a dry white wine then you’ll love this, but don’t worry as it’s not too dry and still has a touch of tartness due to the apple and peach elements.
Its long-lasting aftertaste that’s great bodied will have you reaching for your next sip immediately after and pairs well with any seafood or creamy pasta dishes.
If you’re looking for an elegant taste and a bottle to go with it, then this will be a great match for you.
Another fantastic Albariño is from the Bodega Garzón vineyard located just outside Punta del Este.
The production of this white was overseen by the Italian winemaking expert and consultant Alberto Antonini to help create this fresh, crisp wine.
You’ll have notes of citrus and grass on the nose but more of a mineral finish in the mouth that lingers leaving you wanting more.
Just like the Bodega Bouza one, you’ll find this Garzón Albariño very similar to the one you find in Spain. If you’re looking for something with high acidity that pairs well to cut through any fatty foods then this will be your tipple of choice.
One of the most recent wines I’m recommending is the Bodega Pablo Fallabrino Soul Surfer Sativa from 2020.
The vineyard has been in the Fallabrino family since the early 50s and they specialize in producing excellent wines in small quantities that can be enjoyed by the few and not many.
Pablo (the owner of the vineyard) is a surfer himself and wanted to use his laidback and risk-taking personality in his approach in making this Soul Surfer Sativa.
It’s a CBD-infused white wine that complements the citrus character making it barely noticeable by both nose and palate.
This lively and floral chardonnay is perfect for enjoying on a Sunday evening or for starting what’s set to be a wild Saturday night.
This Bodega Pablo Fallabrino wine is vegan and also made sustainably on the hand-harvested vineyard.
This 2015 Chardonnay by Viña Eden is grown on the rocky mineral soil between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pueblo Eden mountain ridge just north of Punta del Este and is often referred to as one of the best wines from Viña Eden.
It’s aged for 8 months over lees and has little if any oak notes, but is intense in the nose with strong tropical and citric elements through peaches, green apples, and even melon.
Some people even compare this wine to a Pinot Grigio through the scent. It has a clean mineral finish due to its proximity to the ocean and is light-bodied with high acidity.
This 2018 Sauvignon Blanc from the Pizzorono family estates is made with a blend of grapes from 3 different areas in the vineyard in Canelon Chico all of which have various maturity degrees.
The wine is very pale and has an intense aroma of tropical fruits such as melon, grapefruit, and citrus by the nose, but a palate of well-balanced acidity with delicate peach and orange.
It has a nice smooth finish and is perfect for a hot summer’s day.
It’s ideally paired with seafood and leafy green salads, although many locals enjoy this with traditional Uruguayan snacks.
If you’re looking for something to serve on the table that all your guests will enjoy then this is a good option as it’s light, airy, and inoffensive to anyone who’s not the biggest fan of white wines.
The Cuna de Piedra line of wines grown at the Los Cerros de San Juan vineyard is a highly expressive and aged collection of wines, this collection of wines is aged underground of the 19th-century building that has the ideal humidity and temperature levels for prolonged storage.
This Chardonnay is the only white wine from the collection so had made a statement to support its place. It’s smokey and oaky on the nose with hints of butter but also has the elegance of pears and peaches.
On the first sip, it’s crispy and dry but becomes more well-rounded with a silky finish that has a medium body and refreshing after taste that lingers on the palate.
Another wine from Bodega Garzón and notably the only pinot grigio on my list of recommendations.
This is a medium-bodied delicate fruity wine that has a nose of apple and pear notes with citrus taste and bright acidity that is refreshing after each sip.
The wine is made with 80% pinot grigio grapes and 20% of sauvignon blanc to give it an intense personality that will appeal to numerous palettes.
Many people comment on the bubbliness of this wine which you won’t find with many other pinot grigios around.
It pairs well with Japanese and spicy food and is also the perfect chilled companion for a homemade picnic on a summer’s day.
If you’re looking for a special sparkling white Uruguayan wine then you’ll need to try this Brut Nature from Viña Varela Zarranz. It’s produced with 50% chardonnay and 50% French Viognier.
It’s best served stone cold, so do it justice by sticking it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or even in the freezer for 15 minutes.
The Brut Nature is aged on lees for 36 months and has notes of toasted bread with hints of candied rich fruits with a creamy dry finish on the palette. The wine is best served with appetizers or any kind of dessert.
The Varela Zarranz family acquired the vineyard manor from the Uruguayan wine-making pioneer Diego Pons and if you’re ever in the area of Canelones, I recommend you visit the site.
If you manage to get your hands on a bottle or even your lips on a glass of this Picardia wine by Los Nadies then you’ll be very lucky.
The winery makes limited edition wines that the owner primarily sells to friends and family whilst exporting others to Japan and Australia.
The Picardia wine has a mixed composition of Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer, making it complex and sophisticated. It has strong aromas of linden flower and honey and a light mineral finish that is balanced to taste.
There are also bold hints of orange rind and ginger making this wine very unique to the nose and the palette.
You can even get the most incredible wine tour and tasting experience from the owner himself who’ll be able to share his expertise in the industry but in a personalized and friendly environment.