San José

San José

34°20′14″ S


56°42′48″ W




about this subregion

Discover the San José wine sub-region of Uruguay, with Vinerra. Nestled within Uruguay's Metropolitan wine region, San José boasts an environment that is very conducive for viticulture. This area benefits from a humid subtropical climate, characterized by moderate, warm temperatures through the year and moderate rainfall, even during the driest months. These condition are ideal for grape growing, providing a steady growing season with enough water and warmth.

The soils in San José are predominantly clay-loam and schist. Clay-loam soils, known for their fertility and water retention capacity, support vigorous vine growth and are key to nurture the vines throughout their growth cycle. On the other hand, schist soils found on the slopes of Sierra de Mahoma offer excellent drainage and force the vines to develop deep root systems, helping to obtain grapes with more concentrated flavors.

The key grape varieties in San José are Tannat, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay. These grapes benefit from the region's balanced climate and diverse soil composition, allowing to produce unique wines. San José's combination of natural resources and favorable growing conditions underscores its reputation as a significant player in Uruguay's wine industry.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares



1400 - 1600


Discover Terroir

The San José sub region is located withing the Metropolitan wine region of the Uruguay wine country, one of the smallest countries of South America, sharing this area with  the Canelones and Montevideo wine regions. Its landscape is dominated by rolling hills, on which the vineyards extend. This allows the vines to absorb the amount of sun they need for the grapes to reach an ideal ripening point. The hills that define the unique topography of the region serve as natural barriers against the winds that can affect the region.

The San José sub region enjoys a humid subropical climate, with enough rainfall through the year. Cool breezes drift inland, providing relief from the summer heat and contributing to the slow and even ripening of the grapes.

Regarding the soils, fertile clay-loam soils predominate in San José. This provides winegrowers with an excellent background for vine growing, thanks to the great water retention capacity of these soils.

The gentle climate of this region, combined with the unique characteristics of the soil, allows to develop high-quality grapes that are the foundation of the region's esteemed wines.

The San José sub-region features a humid subtropical climate that defines its unique landscape. This type of climate, denoted as Cfa by the Köppen climate classification, brings moderate to warm temperatures year-round, which is ideal for grape growing. Throughout the year, the area receives enough rainfall, even during the  drier months, ensuring that the vineyards remain hydrated.

The influence of three surrounding rivers and of the Atlantic Ocean moderates the climate, softening extreme temperatures that otherwise could harm the vines. This allows for a longer growing season, providing vine growers with the stability needed to plan for optimal harvests. Summers in San José are warm, promoting vigorous vine growth without decreasing the quality of the grapes, while the mild winters help to prevent frost damage.

These climatic conditions are crucial for the development of high quality grapes. The consistent climate helps to mantaing high natural acidity levels in grapes, fostering the production of balanced and flavorful wines that reflect the unique terroir of the San José sub-region.

The San José wine sub-region has an unique soil composition, which has a great influence in the grapes and wines of this area.

  1. Clay-Loam Soils: These are the most prevalent soils across the San José sub-region. Known for their fertility and excellent water retention capacity, clay-loam soils support vigorous vine growth, while mantaining the high-quality of the grapes. The high nutrient content of these soils is beneficial for the grapes, allowing to produce wines with richer and robust flavors.
  2. Schist Soils: Found on the slopes of Sierra de Mahoma, schist soils have a great drainage and less fertility than clay-loam. These soils force the vines to develop deep root systems, stressing them enough to obtain grapes with concentrated flavors. The schist's excellent drainage is particularly appreciated during Uruguay's rainy periods, preventing root diseases and promoting healthy vine growth.

These soil types play a key role in defining the terroir of the San José sub-region, influencing both the characteristics of the grapes cultivated here and the quality of the wines.


The San José sub-region is renowned for its unique terrpor, suitable for the cultivation of different key grape varieties:

  1. Tannat: Tannat requires a good amount of sunlight and well-drained soils to reach its full potential. This grape, a national treasure of Uruguay, thrives in the warm summers of the San José sub-region, which help to obtaing grapes with thick skins, good structure and strong tannins.
  2. Merlot: Merlot thrives in cooler climates than Tannat, something that allows for a longer ripening period. It develops better in well-drained soils, but it also needs a consistent amount of moisture throughout the growing season to maintain vine health, as well as to avoid an excesivelly vigorous growth.
  3. Sauvignon Blanc: This variety develops better in the cooler areas of the San José sub-region. Sauvignon Blanc benefits from the coastal breezes, that helps the grape to preserve its natural acidity. This allows to produces high-quality white wines. Regarding the soils, it develops better in lighter, well-drained soils, with good heat retention.
  4. Viognier: Viognier needs a warmer climate to fully express its unique aromatic characteristics. This grape develops better in well-drained soils, and requires careful water management to avoid waterlogging. This variety is also very sensitive to over-cropping, so vineyard management is critical to obtain high-quality grapes.
  5. Chardonnay: Chardonnay thrives in the cooler areas of the San José wine sub-region, where the maritime influences moderate the temperatures. This grape grows best in well-drained soils, that help to prevent root diseases and waterlogging.

Each of these grapes, coupled with other less planted varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, are key to produce the unique wines that San José is known for.

The San Jose sub-region is renowned for the production of unique wines, primarly from the Tannat, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay grapes. Each of these wines express uniquely the diverse terroir of San José:

  1. Tannat: Tannat red wines from San José are known for their boldness, as well as for their robust structure. They usually show deep, dark fruit flavors such as blackberry and plum, backed up by strong tannins. These characteristics make Tannat wines great prospects for aging.
  2. Merlot: Merlot wines from this region tend to have a softer profile compared to Tannat. They tipically show flavors of ripe cherry and blackberry, with a smooth, velvety texture and subtle notes of dark chocolate and spice, making them very approachable and versatile.
  3. Sauvignon Blanc: The Sauvignon Blanc wines of San José are crisp and refreshing. They are characterized by vibrant citrus and green apple notes in the nose, while in the palate they show a zesty acidity that makes them excellent options to pair with seafood and light salads.
  4. Viognier: Viognier wines from this region are very aromatic and expressive. They typically feature aromatic notes of peach, apricot, and honeysuckle, while in the mouth they usually show tropical and dried fruit notes, and have a lush, full-bodied texture that makes these wines very rich.
  5. Chardonnay: Chardonnay in San José tends to have a mineral and fresh profile. These wines usually show aromatic citric notes, and flavors of green apple and citrus. The end is usually clean and crisp, with a hing of oak notes if the wine was aged.

These wines, coupled with other styles like Cabernet Sauvignon, not only show the diversity of the San José sub-region but also the capacity of new world wine regions to produce wines that are recognized globally.