No corking Uruguay’s rising status as wine country

by Dave


LATimes.com

Wind-tousled grapevines, marching in cornrow-straight lines and hung with pearl-like clusters of light-green fruit, stretch as far as the eye can see across gently rolling farmland near the village of Juanicó in the Canelones District. Flowering red rosebushes punctuate the ends of each row, and tiro-tiro birds, named for their unique call, nest on wooden fence posts. Stalwart pine trees shield the vines from unkind winds along the 34th southern parallel.

The Canelones District is home to the Juanicó wine region, just a 45-minute drive from the Río de la Plata, the broad, slow-moving river that flows between Argentina and its northern neighbor Uruguay.

Surprisingly, the Juanicó region is not part of Argentina, a well-known wine producer and exporter. It belongs to tiny Uruguay and serves as a gateway to the Wine Roads, a stretch of 15 bodegas where wine aficionados can stroll through vineyards, tour century-old cellars and sample fine wines and local cuisine.

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