Bouza focus on four vineyards: La Redención, Las Violetas, Pan de Azúcar, and Las Espinas. La Redención is located in one of the highest points in Melilla, with Tannat and Merlot varieties on the north-facing slopes, and Chardonnay, Albariño, and Tempranillo on the south and southwest-facing slopes. A Chardonnay plot from a clone considered to have the highest potential in Burgundy, will be harvested for the first time next year.
Las Violetas is located in the heart of this wine-growing area, is now considered to be one of the most important in the department of Canelones and, indeed, in Uruguay. The combination of an undulating topography, convex slopes, and vertic clay loam soils provide a perfect terroir for Tannat, Merlot, Albariño, and Chardonnay varieties.
Located in the Maldonado department in the area of convergence between Sierra de las Ánimas and the Sierra de Carapé is Pan de Azúcar. The marked slopes and maritime breeze—known locally as “Virazón” along the Laguna del Sauce valley and the Pan de Azúcar stream—creates a masoclimate. This allows for a slower maturation of grapes and the creation of the optimal conditions for the synthesis and preservation of their color and aroma components.
After observing the Pan de Azúcar vineyard during its first four harvests, they decided to develop a new vineyard: Las Espinas where the maritime influence was even stronger. From this terroir, you can actually see the sea.
In spring 2016 Bouza planted two plots of the Tannat and Pinot Noir varieties on the Eastern and Northeastern slopes extending North from the Cerro “Las Espinas”. From here, they plan to add two new plots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir this spring, and Merlot in 2020.
Mixing up the varieties
Albarino, Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Tempranillo, Tannat, and Pinot Noir are all grown here. Bouza are among pioneers planting Albarino grapes in the Southern Hemisphere. The approach to whites is specific to each variety, respecting varietal characters and vintages. Freshness, acidity, and aroma are the aim when vinfying Albarino for consuming young, although, to some surprise, this variety has also shown good bottleaging potential.
On the other hand, Bouza follows a traditional style and barrel age the reds. Due to small plot vinifications, they select the most outstanding to bottle separately, named under “Parcela Unica.”
Careful care of the grapes is a must. Small-scale harvesting and separate vinification of each plot with minimum interventionism is crucial. They have learned through experience and try to improve every year. Everything is focused on producing wines that stand for the grape’s typicity, terroir, and vintage whilst having good aging potential.
Blending the old and the new
Bouza combines both the modern and traditional. The winery is modern, because there is no fear of the latest technology and winemaking knowledge, so long as it respects the wine’s authenticity. But tradition is important, too, and the production of Bouza’s wines incorporates established ways and beliefs, including taking into account the moon’s influence.
Stimulated by the Pan de Azucar and Las Espinas terroirs, Bouza’s latest plan is to build a small winery close to the current vineyards, at the top of the wild Cerro Las Espinas with views of the ocean, hills and prairies.
Getting to know Bouza
Bouza continues to offer visitors a number of wine-related experiences, from guided tours of the vineyards, winery, and cellar—where visitors can learn about vine growing and winemaking—to tastings. Bouza Vinos Garage is a tasting and tapas room, where the family combines two of its greatest passions: wine and classic cars. Here, visitors can taste wine and enjoy tapas whilst enjoying the family’s classic cars positioned in-between the tables.
At the family’s restaurant, they serve a à la Carte lunch alongside a five-course menu with wine pairing. The gastronomic proposal is simple and focused on the quality of the raw materials; Bouza have cattle and sheep, and source artisanal tetilla cheese, milk, and vegetables from Melilla producers. Above all they want wine lovers to discover who they really are.