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Growers from Argentina and Brazil travel to Uruguay and invest in local wines

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Maldonado and Canelones are two of the wine-producing departments, places where people who come to Uruguay to settle down choose to live. In fact, both Argentines and Brazilians settle far from the bustle of their hometowns and even Montevideo, and choose quieter places with more green areas.

Some of them have begun to invest in Uruguay’s growing wine industry. In addition to the wines, there are also experiences such as tours of vineyards or family-style restaurant offerings.

, Growers from Argentina and Brazil travel to Uruguay and invest in local wines
The Uruguayan wine industry has grown significantly, somewhat boosted by the pandemic. (Photo internet reproduction)

The “boutique” concept, as it is defined, aims to produce more personalized products to attract an audience that chooses quality.

How these investments were born

Zlatkin woke up one morning thinking about doing something “productive” and, as a result he began to analyze alternatives. “Basically, in Uruguay you can make wine, raise cattle or produce olive oil,” Arkader said.

The couple is based a few kilometers from Pueblo Edén, which allows them to be immersed in a natural landscape very attractive to potential clients. This was another reason to become wine producers.

Currently, Viña Eden has 17 labels. At the beginning, the entrepreneurs traveled to France to bring the seedlings and start planting the vineyards. The most complex aspect was to find a work team, as Arkader recalled, since they didn’t know the professionals.

“That coupled with the fact that in Uruguay it is very difficult to start a business, because some labor laws are absurd,” he said.

However, the company has had a good run and has now begun to export to Mexico, Brazil and the Caribbean. The self-sustained vineyards are open for public tours with the company of a guide.

Argentines wintering in wines in Uruguay

Several Argentines who have settled in Uruguay are also investing in this industry. Leo Mc Lean, formerly sales manager for Disney, left Argentina and settled in Pueblo Garzón.

Some time before arriving, Mc Lean had a meeting with Gerardo Michellini, an Argentine winemaker, to whom he expressed his interest in developing a project near the sea.

As a result, his excitement to get to know the “advantages of the east of Uruguay” grew. The wine industry sees this as a novelty and an uncommon practice, since the concept that wine must come from mountainous areas prevails.

Mc Lean believed that this perception is influenced by regions such as Mendoza or countries such as Chile. “We have the ideal conditions in Maldonado. That is why we settled in Garzón and from there began to produce wines with a maritime influence,” the Argentine explained. Under these conditions, Bar del Vinos was born, a boutique and personalized venture.

The investment will exceed US$2 million and aims to ensure that the “naturalness” of the wine is always present. In this respect, Mc Lean said that as it is a small business, attention to every detail is possible.

Finally, Tomas – a pseudonym, since the source preferred not to be identified – will also set up a winery in Uruguay. Unlike Mc Lean, he has been interested in this area for many years.

Due to the type of work he had, he lived in several countries in the region, one of which was Chile. The idea took shape when the Argentine settled in Uruguay and realized the sector’s potential, in addition to the fact that he feels comfortable having so much “cultural proximity.”

Like the other investors who aim to expand the Uruguayan wine industry, Tomas will invest in a project of excellence. Several scenarios are foreseen for the investment, with a maximum of US$4 million. Tomas intends to generate niche and differentiated products, with a family imprint.

Garzón will be the chosen area. Although the project has not yet begun, enologists are being summoned and details are being fine-tuned in order to inaugurate the vineyards. Planting will begin in 2022 and production will flow in the subsequent years, if everything goes according to plan. “Innovating with some grape variety and with an artisanal profile. Not competing directly with the rest of the market,” he added.

Arkader, who has been in the industry for some years, notes that there is a trend to introduce novelties to the industry. In this respect, Tomas added: “It is not only Tannat, although it will continue to be exploited, there is room for other things.”

Source: El Observador

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