Dear colleagues and friends:
I am pleased to invite you to join us at the 41st World Congress of Vine and Wine, to be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay between November 19 and 23, 2018.
Uruguay is honored to host this unique event that gathers representatives of governments, research institutes and industry from the five continents. Although our country already hosted the Congress in 1995, this will be the first time we organize a world congress since the OIV gained status as an Organization.
The core theme this year will be “Shaping the Future: Production and Market Challenges”, and will address themes decidedly aligned with the OIV’s Strategic Plan, which are relevant for the future of our sector, namely:
Viticulture and adaptation to environmental challenges
Enology and natural and essential characteristics of wine
Safety and health
It is in this background that participants and experts from all over the world will invaluably contribute to the process of integrating knowledge, initiatives and actions to promote and develop viticulture in the coming years, in an enabling environment that will foster exchanges and synergies.
Uruguay is a country recognized for its natural environment, the warmth of its people and a strong winemaking tradition. We would be delighted to receive you here and have you help us make this Congress memorable.
José Ma. Lez Secchi
President of Uruguay’s National Institute of Vitiviniculture
President of the Organizing Committee of the 41º World Vineyard and Wine Congress
Located between southern parallels 30 and 35 – like other important wine regions in the world – Uruguay enjoys a privileged geographical position favorable for winemaking, a long-standing tradition that runs in families. Its clay soil and the balanced share of sun, rainfall and temperatures result in optimal conditions for its vineyards, which stretch along the country’s rolling hills, to thrive.
The country’s climate is influenced by nearby rivers and ocean, as it is surrounded by the Uruguay (West) and La Plata (Southwest) Rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean (Southeast). Consequently, the wines produced in Uruguay have a balanced structure, striking a good natural acidity/fruitiness balance with a soft but undeniable touch of tannins.
With almost 7,000 hectares dedicated to hand-harvested vineyards, some 190 family wineries with a long tradition are producing harmonious and elegant wines, prioritizing quality over quantity. Although Uruguayan production is marked by diversity, Tannat is its letter of introduction: originally brought from the areas of Madiran and Irouleguy (south-western France), the strain was introduced in the country by Basque immigrants around 1870 and got perfectly adapted to the local soil and climate. At present, Uruguay is the only producer in the world with significant production of this variety in relation to the total area occupied by its vineyards.
In recent decades, a significant number of wine producers have succeeded in implementing an intense process of reconversion of their vineyards and wineries. As a result, Uruguayan wines have managed to gain a place in the international arena, obtaining countless awards in international competitions endorsed by the OIV. Furthermore, this world recognition has come hand in hand with greater exports of bottled wine, which have increased by more than 30% in the last two years alone.