The Oceanic region is a wine region that comprises two departments: Maldonado and Rocha.
According to an INAVI report, in 2022, there were 11 vineyards in this region, distributed as follows:
The Oceanic region encompasses two departments: Maldonado and Rocha.
As its name indicates, this region is located near the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. This particular location, added to the proximity to the Río de la Plata, makes the region a predominantly temperate oceanic climate.
Crystalline rocks and quartz incrustations dominate the soil composition in the Oceanic wine region. On the other hand, the two predominant soil types are alluvial and gravel soils.
Because the wine industry in Uruguay is relatively young, the Oceanic region does not yet have regional sustainability programs. However, it does receive incentives from a national program focused on the production of certified grapes: the Sustainable Viticulture Program, developed by the National Institute of Viticulture (INAVI).
This program seeks to guarantee both the origin and traceability of the grapes used for wine production, to ensure that all grapes are produced using sustainable practices.
Among the practices assessed by this program are:
It should be clarified that this program also certifies wineries, although it only assesses whether or not grapes from certified vineyards are used.
Most Planted Red Grapes Varieties: Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir
Most Planted White Grapes Varieties: Albariño
The Oceanic region stands out for producing wines rich in alcohol, mainly with the varieties Tannat, on the red wine side, and Albariño, on the white wine side.
In the case of wines produced with the Tannat variety, they can be consumed both young and aged. In the case of its younger version, the Tannat wine can present fruity notes, although the intensity of its tannins stands out especially, while the vintage wines have softer tannins, with notes that vary between red and black fruits as well as a spicy hint reminiscent of spices such as pepper.
On the other hand, the wines produced with the Albariño variety stand out for their acidity, which makes them refreshing wines, as well as for the saline touch due to the alluvial soils of the region. In addition, Albariño wines have a citric profile, with notes reminiscent of lemon peel and stone fruits such as nectarine.
The Oceanic region has a very interesting winemaking history. Until 1898, it had 389 hectares cultivated with vineyards, but in spite of this, most of that area corresponded to Maldonado. In fact, Rocha only began to take on more relevance in 1930, although it has always had a much lower development than Maldonado. However, the Oceanic region had a decrease in the area represented by vineyards at the national level during the period between 1898 and 1930, reaching 2% during 1930.
At present, although the region still shows a great difference in development between Maldonado and Rocha, the latter department has slowly but progressively increased its cultivated area. For example, in 2022 Rocha had 19 ha of cultivated area, while Maldonado had 407 ha.