33° 55' 23.39" S


54° 57' 21.59" W




about this subregion

Discover the Lavalleja wine sub-region of Uruguay, with Vinerra!

The Lavalleja wine sub-region, nestled within Uruguay's central wine belt alongside Durazno and Florida, presents a unique environment, characterized by its diverse terroir. This region of South America, part of the broader Center wine region, is marked by the picturesque Sierras de Minas mountain range that offers a range of microclimates ideal for vine growth. The predominant soils here—granitic and sandy loam—provide excellent drainage and contribute to the distinctiveness of the wines produced.

Lavalleja's climate, with its warm summers and mild winters, support the growth of both white and red grape varieties. The main grape varieties include Tannat, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Albariño, and Viognier, each benefiting from the region’s terroir to produce wines with unique profiles.

Lavalleja has a smaller production that other regions within the Uruguayan wine industry. According to a 2023 report by INAVI, producers in Lavalleja harvested 51 tons of grapes, accounting for 0.1% of Uruguay’s total grape production. Despite this, in the last few years Lavalleja is focusing more on the production of unique and very expressive wines, showing the great potential for winemaking in new world wine regions.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares



1300 - 1500


Discover Terroir

The landscape of the Lavalleja wine sub-region in Uruguay, nestled within the broader Central wine region, is marked by the presence of  Sierras de Minas, a mountain range. Lavalleja has a stunning  verdant terrain that encompasses natural vegetation and rolling hills that are key for the development of viticulture within the region.

The topography of Lavalleja is predominantly hilly, providing a natural elevation that not only influences the microclimate, but also the drainage of the soil. These hills are the enchanting background where the vineyards are set, offering scenic views for visitors as well as for wine enthusiasts.

Moreover, the presence of the Sierras de Minas protects the vineyards from extreme weather conditions,  helping to moderate the climate. This ensures a more consistent growing season for the vines. The fresh mountain breezes help to obtain high-quality grapes, with ideal levels of acidity.

The natural beauty of Lavalleja, combined with its hilly landscape and the influence of the Atlantic ocean, creates a viticultural paradise.The characteristics of the region not only supports the growth of a wide range of grapes.  but also makes the region a captivating destination for tourists and wine lovers alike.

Lavalleja has a temperate climate, which allows for a gradual and extended ripening period for the grapes. Summers are warm, with December showcasing average maximum temperatures around 27°C, which slowly cool as the season ends. Warm summers are vital for the initial growth and development phases of the grapes.

As autumn arrives, temperatures cool down, with March still relatively warm but transitioning by May into cooler days, essential to stabilize the levels of acidity in the grapes. April,  the wettest month, provides the vines with enough moisture to sustain them through the drier months.

Winters in Lavalleja are mild compared to more extreme climates, yet they offer a cooling period that is key for the vines during the dormancy period. Temperatures during the winter can dip to around 15°C during the day, something that helps the vines to rest and prepare for the next growing cycle.

Finally, the spring season witnesses a gradual warming, which kickstarts the vine's growth cycle again. The average temperatures in November, around 20-25°C, coupled with moderate rainfall, set the stage for the flowering and initial grape formation stages.

The moderate rainfall and abundant sunshine throughout the year contribute to the overall health of the vineyards, ensuring that the vines receive enough water without being overburdened by humidity or drought.

The Lavalleja wine subregion is characterized by a diverse range of soil types that contribute to the unique characteristics of the grapes grown here.

  1. Granitic Soils: These soils are predominant throughout Lavalleja, offering excellent drainage and contributing to the robust character of the wines. The rocky nature of granitic soils stresses the vines enough to obtain grapes with more concentrated flavors.
  2. Sandy Loam: This type of soil is found in different parts of the region. Sandy loam has a great drainage, although it retains enough moisture to sustain vineyards through the driest months. This soil is especially appreciated for growing white grapes, which develop more intense aromas when cultivated in this soil type.


The Lavalleja wine sub-region is making a name for itself thanks to its unique terroir. The climate of Lavalleja allows to grow several key varieties, each crucial for the emerging wine industry of Lavalleja.

  1. Tannat: Tannat is the flagship grape of Uruguay and thrives in the temperate climate of Lavalleja. It requires a long growing season to fully develop its structure, and benefits from the soils with good drainage of the region. which help to prevent waterlogging and the overripening of the grapes.
  2. Merlot: Merlot adapts well to a great range of climates, and thrives in Lavalleja due to its ability to ripen earlier than other reds.Despite its adaptability, it prefers cooler temperatures during the ripening phase. This allows Merlot to maintain its natural acidity levels as well as its structure.
  3. Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape renowned for its vigor,  thrives in warmer areas that allows the grape to have  a longer growing season. In Lavalleja, Cabernet Sauvignon benefits from the warmer days and cooler nights which are ideal for enhancing its growth, as well as to ensure a great balance between the levels of sugar and natural acidity.
  4. Albariño: Albariño, although most common in Spain, also finds a home in the cooler areas of Lavalleja. This white grape demands high levels of moisture and cooler temperatures to develop its signature acidity, and thrives in the climate of this region, thanks to the influence of the Atlantic ocean.
  5. Viognier: Viognier needs a warmer climate to express its full potential, making the warmer areas of Lavalleja perfect to grow this white grape. It requires careful vineyard management, not only to prevent overexposure to heat but also to maintain the natural acidity of the grape, very valued in the production of white wines.

These grapes, coupled with other vareties like Pinot Noir, are only an example of the great diversity that offers Lavalleja.

Lavalleja, one of the Uruguayan emerging wine gems, is getting more recognizement for its unique wines:

  1. Tannat: Tannat wines have a great robustness and structure. These wines offer a complex aromatic profile of dark fruits such as blackberry and plum. In the palate, Tannat wines are very appreciated for their pronounced tannins and usually show a smoky or earthy finish..
  2. Merlot: Merlot wines from this region typically present a softer profile than Tannat wines, with a lush and velvety texture.Merlot wines usually offer flavors like ripe cherry and raspberry, coupled by subtle herbal notes, making them approachable without losing complexity.
  3. Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon from Lavalleja has a depth profile. It usually shows flavors of black currant and cassis, coupled with undertones of cedar and tobacco if the wine was aged. This wine is very appreciated not only for its firm tannins, but also for its lingering finish.
  4. Albariño: Albariño is a white wine very appreciated for its light body and vibrant acidity. Albariño shows a wide range of flavors in the palate, such as citrus or peach,  often with a mineral hint that makes the finish of this wine very crisp and refreshing.
  5. Viognier: Viognier wines are characterized by its intense aromas that may remind you to blossom, peach and apricot. On the palate, this wine is usually smooth, with a great richness that balances its aromas.

These wines, coupled with less produced wines like Pinot Noir, showcase the great potential of Lavalleja's terroir.