With a population of 3.2 million, Uruguay
is a relatively small Latin country. Sandwiched between Argentina,
Brazil, and the Atlantic Ocean, Uruguay is as much European in culture,
as it is South American. Small, privately owned wineries make up the
market, growing grape varieties that reflect the diverse culture.
The grape varieties are mostly French in
origin, although there is some influence from Spain and Italy. Tannat, a
French variety, has been adapted as the "national grape". Introduced by
Basque immigrants, Tannat has the potential to make full-bodied and
characterful red wines, a different expression when compared to the
traditional tannic wines from Madiran in southwest France.