Last summer we went to Vina Eden. It’s a winery with a lovely restaurant about 40 minutes drive from Punta del Este, Uruguay.
I forgot to post about my trip last year but recently stumbled across the photos and wanted to share my memories of a lovely day.
The drive to get there, along the route 12 is beautiful, with its rolling hills, clear blue skies and vibrant patchwork of fields all around. The views around Vina Eden are just glorious. The air feels so clean and fresh. Locals refer to Pueblo Eden endearingly as the Tuscany of Uruguay.
I visited with my family. For me vineyards are a great family day out. There are vines for the kids to run among, usually a good restaurant and of course wine!
Here at Vina Eden, the rocky hills and ocean breeze lend the wine something rather special. The vineyard focuses on producing high end wines in a sustainable manner.
A friend in the industry told me how Uruguay couldn’t possibly compete with the quantity of wine produced in nearby Argentina or Chile, so the country went for quality over quantity. And Vina Eden is testament to this style.
Vina Eden wine is really good. Unsurprisingly, it has won a lot of international medals. Surprisingly, the sustainable vineyard has only been around for about five years.
The winery works hard respect local biodiversity through the innovative use of very modern technology. It’s an interesting, and no doubt excruciatingly expensive endeavour.
For true aficionados, there is a Vina Eden wine club, offering access to the really special wines as well as discounts for local hotels and invitations to exclusive events. And at the next level, there is the option to own your own slice of Vina Eden. Members of the private vineyards get to select their grapes, production methods and storage with the support of the winery’s agronomists and enologists.
We enjoyed a very long lunch. The Vina Eden restaurant menu focuses on seasonal, organic produce from local, small producers. Mr Expater chose lamb and I opted for fish. Meanwhile the kids ate their weight in homemade bread too, tried a little pasta then dived right into a dulce de leech ice cream volcano chocolate bomb.
The restaurant is housed in the main building, a very modern swanky architectural masterpiece. It’s all high ceilings, sleek concrete floors and floor to ceiling windows.
After some proper sobremesa lounging around, we took a tour of the winery. The cellars are nestled deep down within natural stone, where the cool, dark atmosphere is perfect for storing wine.
Here we enjoyed a short but wonderful video animation projected onto the rocks of the cellar. It was a really cool experience and was one of the favourite parts of the day for my kids.
We loved Vina Eden. It’s more of luxury experience for couples and friends, so next time I might try to get the babysitter on standby and sneak off with the hubby. However, with or without kids, I’ll revisit for sure!
Visiting Vina Eden
While we visited with kids, I wouldn’t say it’s a family style place. Like anywhere in Uruguay, we felt very welcome, however it’s not a let them run wild type of place. The balcony near the restaurant has a steep drop and my kid could slip through the bars, so keep an eye out if you have little ones.
For a meal for two adults and three kids we spent around $300 USD. If you add on more wine, expect to pay a lot more, however.
Even on a hot summer’s day it can get cool up in Eden, or in the cellar, so pack a light jacket or jumper.