Looking for a high-quality, full-bodied yet refined expression of Uruguay’s flagship wine, Tannat? Pisano Wines are ready to satiate you with their award-winning private family reserve. The Pisano brothers export to 48 countries but they don’t do tours. They’re too busy ‘cooking’ wine.
Eduardo, Gustavo and Daniel are fourth generation wine makers. Great grandfather Francisco came to Uruguay from Liguria in Italy. He bagged the land where Pisano Wines is based in 1870. Now a small town in Canelones, just 20 minutes from Montevideo, Progreso has a Burgundy type soil (clay) with a Bordeaux (Atlantic) climate.
Gustavo, the youngest, is the winemaker—the creative brain behind Pisano‘s 90+ points with Decanter and Tim Atkins. Eduardo, the agronomist, produces the excellent quality grapes. And Daniel, the oldest with the biggest moustache, is the export guy. All three were born at the vineyard, where their 96-year old mum still lives (and yes, she lunches and dines with wine), and they live next-door.
Family is all important to their wine style. “Geographically, we’re in the New World, but culturally and by wine style, we are Old Continent” says Daniel. “We are wine cooks who follow the traditions and recipes of our father and our grandfather before him, while applying our own creativity and intelligence”.
“We are part of where we live,” says Daniel. “Pisano is not a business, it’s a way of life“.
Pisano Wines’ emblematic wines
The RPF—literally, the Personal Reserve of the Family—is their flagship line. It represents their big personalities and the terrior of their part of Progreso.
Other icons are Pisano Arretxea—their family names of their parents. Arretxea just like Tannat is of Basque origin. Of course, Pisano Arretxea is a Tannat. Their top top line is Axis Mundi, which is only produced in years when the Tannat is particularly exceptional.
The Río de los Pájaros line, which is the name of Uruguay in the indigenous Guaraní language (River of Painted Birds) represents Uruguay locally.
New varieties at Pisano
The white Albariño has adapted particularly well to Uruguay, and at Pisano, people are loving them. They also produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot (originally from Bordeaux) and Pinot Noir (originally from Burgundy). All of the varieties love the southern Uruguayan terroir.
Pisano also has a forty-year production of Torrontés and believe they are possibly the only Uruguayan winery producing it. Daniel says that the combination of this Argentine grape and the Uruguayan maritime climate produces a elegant, very floral white.
Pisano Wines from Uruguay to the world
Given the prestige nationally and internationally of Pisano, people are surprised to learn the winery is relatively small producing on just 30 hectares. Half of Pisano wines are exported, and the other half stay in Uruguay. Most exports go to the USA. Followed to a lesser extent by Europe, Brazil, small Caribbean islands, Mexico, Canada, Japan, China, and Australia.
What you should know
Pisano Wine is not open for wine tours. However, if Guru’Guay visitors go to the winery to buy and if one of the brothers is free, they’ll be happy to uncork for tasting and give you a quick walk around.
Pisano Wines does welcome professional visits by appointment.
If you’re based in Uruguay, you’re in luck. There are weekday walk-in sales at the winery and a door-to-door delivery service contacting the number below.
Ruta 68 km 29, Progreso, Canelones Department, Uruguay
Phone and WhatsApp +598 99 285 176
Walk-in cellar door wine sales welcomed Monday to Friday 08:00 am to 05:30 pm. Open for professional visits by appointment only (please make a written request).
Photos: Pisano Wines