Reinaldo DeLucca and his uniquely Uruguayan wines

“I hope you brought your camera because the cafe we’re going to for lunch is very interesting. ” I could say the same about Reinaldo DeLucca, the very interesting winemaker of his eponymous Uruguyan winery. When I mentioned I was going to Uruguay to try their wines, my trip was usually met with incredulous looks and much shaking of heads, especially in Argentina, but I had encountered much the same reaction in the UK before I left. Needless to say, I was full of trepidation when I boarded the ferry for the short 50 minute ride across the Rio de la Plata to Uruguay from Buenos Aires. What would I find? Would there even BE wineries? Would the wine be drinkable even? Happily, I found not only wineries that had been founded as far back as the 19th century but a variety of wine styles and some rather avant garde winemaking but more on that later. First my lunch with Reinaldo. Reinaldo’s family has been making wine since the 30’s and he grew up in and around the vineyard. He possesses an impressive amount of degrees, Univ. of Uruguay, Masters from Penn State, Masters from Montpellier, PhD from France as well, he’s no country rube.  He’s also spent considerable time in wineries around the world, including a stint at the Viña Mina winery in Israel. This guy gets around! He counts France as one of his biggest influences in the vineyard. We were lunching at Los Porros, a tiny stucco building built in the 1800’s in a one horse town somewhere in Uruguay. Other then adding electrical wiring, I think the place has pretty much stayed the same. Gustavo, the proprietor, could be found wandering around, sitting and chatting with regulars ( and everyone but me seemed to be a regular, and a man) I felt like I was in the Godfather or something. The cafe was more like his personal living room then a restaurant. I loved the decor, a mishmash of vintage...

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