Rugged landscapes, high-style design.
Summertime and the living is easy in Uruguay’s wine country, a small stretch of land that’s evolving into one of the world’s most fertile grounds for high-concept architecture and world-class vineyards set amid a stunningly rugged landscape. Fueled by next-gen Uruguayans with a global mindset, this tiny country located below Brazil is taking sustainability into seriously stylish terrain.
Uruguay is classified as a drink-now vacation, considering only three percent of the country’s wine ever makes it beyond the country’s borders. Its pride-and-joy varietal, Tannat, was brought here by the Basque population in the 19th century. Today, there’s Cab, Merlot and even Albariño, which come in handy for those four-hour lunches. Don’t miss Bodega Garzón, a 5,400-acre, $85-million property raising the design bar as the first winery outside North America seeking LEED certification. Tour by foot, electric bicycle, hot air balloon or arrive in style from Punte del Este via helicopter. Safety first.
By the Numbers
Bringing the bounty is Sacromonte Landscape Hotel and winery designed by the South American maverick firm MAPA. Here, architects encased the winery in smoked mirror reflecting the vineyards and moody skies of Maldonado. For accommodations, there are 13 steel-and-stone cottages offering a sleek reinterpretation of the humble log cabin. Meanwhile, modernists will fall in love with the austere wooden chapel and farm-to-table restaurant.
“Fueled by next-gen Uruguayans with a global mindset, this tiny country located below Brazil is taking sustainability into seriously stylish terrain.”
There’s only one speed for food here: slow. In Carmelo, artisanal lovers will easily downshift at the historic Narbona Wine Lodge, a Relais & Châteaux property with serious gaucho glamour. Equipped with an old-world wine cellar, farm, dairy and restaurantserving fresh, homemade cuisine, there’s no need to rush off elsewhere. Sit back and say cheese: The dairy churns out slabs of Uruguayan favorites, approved by the celebrated Anthony Bourdain, like magro, danbo (its answer to Edam) as well as Dulce de Leche for breakfast.
Port of Call
The luxurious cruise liner Seven Seas Explorer will embark on its maiden voyage to South America in January, migrating south for the winter like many of its heat-seeking, well-heeled travelers. In 2019, the two-year-old ship that cost $450 million to build, will head due south to Uruguay, Buenos Aires and Chile among others. With a 750-passenger limit, the all-suite, all-balcony ship is known for its opulent decor including a Dakota Jackson-designed suite, a $7-million art collection, and car and driver service at its ports.
HERO/INN CROWD: @SACROMONTE LANDSCAPE HOTEL
EDIBLES: @Narbona Wine Lodge
PORT OF CALL: @Seven Seas Explorer
THE GOODS: @Gabrielahearst
Leave it to fashion designer Gabriela Hearst to bring catwalk cred to her native Uruguay with a new eponymous Madison Avenue boutique, which opened this fall. Located next to The Carlyle, the shop subscribes to sustainable fashion and pays tribute to her childhood ranch in Montevideo. Also weaving the origin story: Madewell has launched a home-spun partnership with Manos del Uruguay, which has been employing local women for the last 50 years.