Litoral Norte

Litoral Norte

30°24'0" S


56°28'0.01" W




about this region

The Litoral Norte wine region extends along the northern end of the Uruguay River, covering the departments of Artigas, Paysandú and Salto.

According to statistics provided by INAVI, in 2022, the region had 30 vineyards. The department with the most vineyards was Paysandú, with 17 vineyards distributed over 108 hectares. On the other hand, the department with the fewest vineyards was Artigas, with only one vineyard covering 2 hectares.


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Vineyard Hectares




growing degree days

Discover Terroir

The North Litoral wine region extends along the northern end of the Uruguay River, encompassing the departments of Artigas, Paysandú, and Salto.

Its landscape is defined by the influenceof the river, which provides fertile soil for vineyards to flourish. Rolling hills covered by vineyards give way to vast expanses of lush greenery, creating a picturesque setting for wine production. The proximity to the river not only offers a source of irrigation but also moderates the climate, ensuring optimal conditions for grapegrowing.

In Artigas and Paysandú, the terrain is characterized by undulating hills and valleys, while Salto has a flatter landscape with fertile plains. Against this backdrop, vineyards thrive, basking in the warm sunlight and benefiting from the region's temperate climate. The North Litoral wine region's scenic beauty and favorable growing conditions make it a prime location for the production of high-quality wines.

The Litoral Norte wine region in Uruguay is characterized by its temperate climate, which is very influenced by the proximity of the Uruguay River, acting as a natural temperature moderator. This region, which spans through the departments of Artigas, Paysandú, and Salto, enjoys a climate conducive to viticulture with annual rainfall between 1000 to 1500 mm. The soils are notably deep and consist of sandstone with a basalt layer beneath, creating a unique terroir for grape growing.

In terms of viticulture, Litoral Norte is home to around 30 vineyards covering 165 hectares, with Paysandú being the most populated by vineyards. The wine styles from this region prominently feature Tannat and Ugni Blanc grapes, with Tannat being particularly notable for its intense violet color in young wines and softer tannins as it ages. Ugni Blanc wines are appreciated for their refreshing acidity and citrusy profiles, reminiscent of lemon or grapefruit.

Although the wine industry in the Litoral Norte, is relatively young compared to other wine-producing regions of South America, this region is slowly gaining more recognition for its high quality wines.

The Litoral Norte wine region of Uruguay features a great diversity of soil types that contribute to the unique characteristics of its wines. Within the region, the two main soil types are sandstone and basalt:

  1. Sandstone: This soil type is prevalent in the Litoral Norte region. Sandstone soils are generally well-drained and have a good capacity to heat retention, which helps in the ripening process of grapes. Wines produced from vineyards with sandstone soils often show vibrant fruit flavors and a unique minerality.
  2. Basalt: Found beneath the upper layers of sandstone, basalt is a volcanic rock that adds a unique mineral complexity to the wines. It typically enhances the structure and longevity of wine, contributing to deeper, more intense flavors. The presence of basalt is beneficial for vineyards, as it provides good water retention and slow release of nutrients, which helps maintain vine health during the dry periods.

These soil types play a key role in defining the unique terroir of this region, providing a distinctive background for grape growing.


Uruguay's Litoral Norte region grows a great range of grape varieties. The key grapes from this region are:

  1. Tannat: Tannat is well-suited to the warm, sunny climate of Litoral Norte, which allows this robust grape to mature fully. The well-drained soils of the region have a great capacity of water retention, crucial for controlling the vigor of Tannat vines and concentrating flavors in the grapes.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon: This popular grape benefits from the region’s hot days and cool nights, key to obtain grapes with high sugars and natural acidity levels, key for high-quality wine production. Cabernet Sauvignon vines thrive in the deep, fertile soils of Litoral Norte, which provide enough nutrients and support a deeper development of the root system.
  3. Ugni Blanc: Known for its adaptability, Ugni Blanc performs well in the  cooler microclimates of Litoral Norte. This grape variety requires careful moisture management, which is achievable thanks to the region's moderate rainfall and effective drainage systems in the vineyards and soils.

This grape varieties, coupled with less planted grapes such as Pinot Noir, are only some examples of the great viticultural diversity that the Litoral Norte wine region has to offer.

The Litoral Norte region of Uruguay is renowned for its Tannat and Ugni Blanc wines, each offering unique profiles that captivate connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.

  1. Tannat: Tannat wines from Litoral Norte are robust and full-bodied, typically showing a bold structure. They often have deep, dark fruit flavors notes like blackberry and plum, coupled with a great tannic backbone. These wines can also show hints of dark chocolate and tobacco, especially if the wine was aged, developing a more complex and rich profile.
  2. Ugni Blanc - In contrast, Ugni Blanc wines are much lighter and crisper. They tend to show a refreshing acidity in the mouth, with flavors that lean towards crisp green apples and citrus. The profile of this wine usually shows subtle floral undertones and a clean, sharp finish, making it a great choice for those who appreciate a zesty white wine.

These wines from Litoral Norte reflect their terroir uniquely, with Tannat providing a powerful expression and Ugni Blanc offering a refreshing counterbalance.


50 - 60 m


1000 - 1500 mm


Soils with good depth, mainly composed of sandstone and with a lower layer of basalt.

top varietal

Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc

History of wine

The Northern Litoral has a very interesting history of wine production. It all began at the end of the 19th century, when the family of the French-basque Pascual Harriague settled in what is now known as the region of San Antonio Chico, in Salto. There, Harriague introduced the first varieties of what today is one of the key varieties for wine production in Uruguay: Tannat. 

However, in 1898 the phylloxera plague hit Uruguay's wine industry hard, and of course the Litoral Norte region was no exception. However, after years of hard work, the region managed to recover thanks to the introduction of American varieties resistant to phylloxera. This allowed the region to continue to develop to this day, always with the Tannat variety as its flagship, but also with other varieties very present, such as the Merlot grape, which in 2021 in Paysandú represented 2.1% of the total cultivated area in Uruguay.