Every single day in Uruguay has truly been an adventure. Whenever I feel like I have experienced all that Uruguay has to offer, the surprises just keep coming! Today we had the opportunity to spend some time with Mrs. Paula Pivel at her winery Alto de la Ballena, the estate sits perfectly in between Punta del Este and the Atlantic Ocean. Mrs. Paula explained that topography played a crucial role in the production of wine and her reason behind choosing a location in south east Uruguay was largely due to its vast hills and close proximity to the ocean. Both of which are excellent conditions to ensure production of high-quality grapes and ultimate production of high-quality wines.

From beginning to end, we were able to witness Alto de la Ballena’s wine production process. Starting with types of grape vines planted, how the vines are planted, nutrients added to the soil to ensure survival of the vines, and pest control methods to keep the birds away. While in the vineyard, we had the chance to eat some grapes straight off of the vines. The amount of flavor and freshness packed into every single grape I consumed went beyond my expectations! Next, came the fermentation of the harvested grapes and storage of the fresh wine into oak barrels. The wine sits inside of the barrels for around nine months, after which it’s bottled and shipped to vendors and customers across the world. Finally, Mrs. Paula rewarded us with a wine tasting of her favorite wines.

Prior to our visit to Mrs. Paula’s winery, I had little knowledge regarding the effort and time that went into the production of wine. This visit allowed me to walk away with a greater appreciation for winemakers who dedicate themselves to fulfilling the enjoyment of others. Even when it’s something as simple as a glass of wine.