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Wine from Canelón Chico

Canelón Chico – The Heart of Uruguayan Wines

Canelones, which is located in the southern part of Uruguay, can be doubtlessly called as the Heart of Uruguayan Wines.

The main reason is that this region is home to the majority of the country’s vineyards.

With the total vineyard area of about 5,046 hectares, this Uruguayan department is lying just north of the country’s capital, Montevideo.

The Canelones department is bordered by Maldonado and Lavalleja in its eastern side, Florida on its northern side, San José in its western side, and Montevideo in its southern side.

Wine grape varieties

Now, let’s see why it’s being called as the heart of Uruguayan wines by looking at the viticulture of Canelones in detail here…

Start of Viticulture in Canelones

Just like many other South American countries, the viticulture in Uruguay was also started with the arrival of immigrants from Europe during the 1870s.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the country has started to produce consistent levels of wines.

The wines were produced mainly by the families that occupied the regions surrounding the capital city Montevideo.

This way, it was found that the Canelones region, which is lying close to the capital, was the epicentre of the country’s modern wine industry.

Thus, Canelones became the most important wine region of Uruguay with the majority of country’s viticultural activities being undertaken here.

A Look at the Canelones as the Wine Region

Although the history of winemaking in Uruguay is found to be in line with the other parts of South America, the country as a wine region is quite different than others.

The Uruguay climate is found to be closer to the conditions of the Bordeaux region of France.

In Canelones, the climatic conditions are mild and Atlantic in nature. The region is experiencing mild and warm summers and cooler winters.

But, we cannot see any extreme types of climate here. The median annual rainfall is found to be around 1300 mm. The Canelones region is getting a nice ventilating effect from the coastal winds which prevent the vine plants from rot.

The soils of Canelones are found to be rich in clay, which is good for agriculture. Moreover, the region is found to be having diverse types of soils and therefore, some vineyards are having good drainage and some have higher levels of volcanic rocks and weathered granite.

These conditions cannot be found in most other parts of Uruguay outside of Canelones. So, here is another why it is called as the heart of Uruguayan wines.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Tannat is the King of Canelones

Like several other regions of Uruguay, Tannat is the major grape variety of Canelones too! Here, we can find more numbers of Tannat plants than any other parts of the whole world.

Although this is the signature wine grape variety of Canelones now, it doesn’t become triumphant easier.

The plantation was found to be successful in Canelones only after a century of experiments. Today, a quarter of the vineyard area in the country is planted with Tannat thus becoming the major cultivation region of Tannat.

Canelones has crossed even the variety’s spiritual home, Madiran of France in the Tannat plantations. This hardy grape variety is found to be performing well every year with good amounts of tannins, colour, and acidity.

Other Grape Varieties in Canelones

The wine producers of the country are trying several types of wines alongside Tannat. Thus, the other major white varieties of Canelones are:

  • Pinot Blanc
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Albariño
  • Marsanne
  • Petit Manseng
  • Torrontes
  • Riesling

In the red spectrum, the most common varieties are:

  • Nebbiolo
  • Nero D’Avola
  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Syrah

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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