Why stay at a Carmelo hotel when you can choose a romantic wood cabin for two in the grounds of Carmelo’s oldest winery.
Flat green fields, dusty brown country roads, squat bushes of lavender and rosemary and a hundred year old general store on the crossroads. A few old guys hanging out chatting, enjoying the early morning sun. This was the scene the day I arrived to spend the night at Entreviñas, a romantic cabin among the vines at a historic winery in Carmelo, Uruguay’s answer to Tuscany.
Almacén de la Capilla is the oldest winery in Carmelo’s wine district, Colonia Estrella. Stay at Almacén in their romantic wooden cabin for two in the vineyard. The cabin is called Entreviñas, which means ‘among the vines’. It is a two-minute walk through the vineyards to the Almacén, so it’s very private.
The cabin has an enormous king-size bed, a very smart bathroom with the trappings of a five star hotel—robes, slippers,—a squashy sofa set in the picture window and a deck overlooking the vines. There’s a kitchenette and of course wine glasses and a bottle opener. Breakfast appears magically on the doorstep each morning in a red-checkered picnic basket.
Wine tasting takes place in the 150-year old store which gives Almacén de la Capilla (which means chapel store) its name. It was founded in the 1870s by Antonio Cordano, an immigrant from Genoa. He planted Criolla vines, a few of which can still be found on site, and produced table wine under the name Bodega Cordano. The vineyard moved into fine wines in the 1970s introducing Tannat, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay among others. Today the vineyard makes fine wines under the management of fifth-generation wine-maker Ana Paula Cordano. Together with her husband Diego they make a great team who will receive you personally.
What you should know
The Almacén is a lovely place with lots of spaces for sitting and enjoying the surrounding countryside. There’s Wi-Fi too and a splendid little gift shop.
Fans of former president Jose Mujica—dubbed “the world’s ‘poorest’ president” by the BBC—will be interested to hear that his mother was a Cordano and El Pepe spent childhood summer holidays at the vineyard.
No internet in the cabin Despite Diego and Ana Paula’s best attempts, they have not been able to provide internet in the cabin, so bring your own or be prepared to head to the store to sit under the vines and send your emails from there. How big a problem is that?
Check out the antique wine presses. During harvest you could have the chance to tread grapes with your bare feet at the Almacén.
Wine-tasting includes four wines and a generous picada (cheese, hams, olives, bread) for 45 USD or a three-course lunch for 75 USD per person. Wine tasting daily 11am-6pm.
Booking your cabin direct from the owners Email or WhatsApp Diego. Contact details below.
Entreviñas – The cabaña among the vines, Almacén de la Capilla, Colonia Estrella
Camino de los Peregrinos & Ana María Carpy, Carmelo, Colonia Department
Wine tasting daily 11am-6pm.
200 USD per night (2 night minimum)
Photos: Almacén de la Capilla / Entreviñas