Uruguay’s Ultimate Wine Retreat, The Sacromonte Landscape Hotel

All Images Credit Sacromonte Landscape Hotel

It’s in a far-off place and hard to get to. On the other side of the world tucked away in a little corner of South America where the closest city is Punta del Este which is about an hour away. While you are en route, you’ll barely notice that the roads have changed from well-maintained to bumpy, pot-holed, and unpaved as the distraction of the bucolic pastures, woodlands, and undulating hills of the Uruguayan countryside demands your full attention. You’ll soon find out that the place at the end of your journey nothing less than deliciously remote. You are in the hinterlands amongst wild mountains of eastern Uruguay where you’ll find the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel, one of the world’s most special places and beyond well worth the effort to get there.  

The Sacromonte Landscape Hotel is first and foremost a vineyard in the mountains. The vines follow the slope of the hills from their peaks down into a pond and stream. Within the vines, you are likely to see horses roaming free as well as the endless wildlife found in the area from the pig-like capybara, to skunks, and deer. Scattered amongst 250 acres of land are four stand-alone cabins built not only for sustainability but to seamlessly blend with the landscape. Yes of course you see them, but the reflective glass, and structure covered with wood and grass, allow them to blend well with the beauty of these hills.

The vineyards produce fruit for Sacromonte wines including their renowned tannat, the popular variety of red wine produced in Uruguay. The wine label offers a range of exquisite red blends from merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes, and a fabulous orange-colored, rose’ perfect for a hot day after a hike in the woods.

On the highest bluff of the grounds is where you’ll find the restaurant, with views that look like they jumped out of a postcard. There you’ll enjoy fine dining experiences from the hands of their talented chef.

It all comes together at Sacromonte Landscape Hotel, with fabulous scenery amongst the vines and mountains, luxurious and private accommodations, fine dining, and top-notch service. You will be hard-pressed to find a more ideal place to take in the gorgeous nature and a good glass of wine that this remote retreat offers.  It’s no wonder a few years ago it was named one of Time Magazines' 100 greatest places.  

Sacromonte Owner, Edmond Borit

Although the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel is relatively new, built in 2014, it comes with a rich history that began generations ago.  The owner of the winery, vineyards, and retreat is Edmond Borit a French Peruvian who made his way to settle in Uruguay. He is not the first winemaker in his family as he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, a viticulturist who emigrated from France to Peru. After working for a French winery, his grandfather established his own wines in Peru of which one of the vineyards was named Sacromonte, the namesake of the retreat. Today, Borit pays homage to his ancestor by continuing the family tradition of crafting fine boutique wines. Sacromonte is his magnum opus, with his craft wines now garnering worldwide acclaim, wonderful meals to pair them with, and an idyllic place surrounded by awe-inspiring nature as the perfect setting in which to enjoy his wines.

They call this area of Uruguay the Tuscany of the South. I’m not sure if I agree with that but it is clearly a stunningly beautiful part of the world. This is the wild sierras of eastern Uruguay with rolling hills, lush forests, and farmlands, where the scenery stuns and then stirs the soul.   Sacromonte is located on 250 acres covering several undulating hills patched with vineyards, the property’s facilities, and areas left untouched. The vineyard's hillside location allows the vines to flourish from the direct sunlight and good drainage.

One of the things that guests love most about the place is the serenity. No traffic, city noises, or even airplanes overhead. You will though hear the constant birdsong with vultures soaring overhead to swallows darting to and fro or and you'll see hummingbirds flittering about. The wildlife you’ll see at any point as your wandering the grounds never ceases to amaze you with a menagerie of foxes, skunks, armadillos, wild boar, deer, and others.

There are several interesting places to seek out on the property. At top of a hill, you’ll find the chapel, a simple triangular wood structure that overlooks the grounds, within is a shrine for the statue of the Virgin of La Carrodilla, who is the patron saint of Winemakers.

Elsewhere, on the highest hill, you’ll find a vantage point to see 360-degree views of the expansive property. This is the height where the vultures soar and seem to come close enough that you can reach out and touch them. From this point, you can see far to the hills and even the Punta del Este and the coastline is far away along the horizon. The hike to get there are about thirty minutes up a steep incline but oh so worth the effort.  

The Cabins or “Refugios”

The cabins are referred to as “Refugios” and are exactly what one would look for in a retreat amongst the vines. There are only four cabins ensuring the utmost exclusivity and privacy with the units spread out over the property.  Each offers different idyllic views either over a pond, the vineyards, or the mountains.  

From the outside, each blends in perfectly with its majestic surrounding. The rear is covered with weathered wood log ends and the rooftop is covered with sod. The front of each cabin is a surreal one-way mirrored wall of windows that reflects the gorgeous natural surroundings of the estate. The most sublime feature is the wooden outdoor deck with chaise lounge chairs and a steamy whirlpool bath set at a balmy 80 degrees. In the evening it’s the perfect place for a glass of wine under the stars before turning in for a romantic evening.

Indoors is posh and sleek with a distinctly clean Scandinavian minimalist décor. Black slate floors and black ceilings set the tone with rich oak paneled walls. Accommodations are quite spacious with a retractable wall that when closed separates the bedroom from the living area. Within the living space, there are chic sitting areas, a dining table, and accent rugs as well as a fireplace for chilly nights.  Another exceptional feature is the reading nook with a day bed and rear window that doubles as a second bed, ideal for children. Both sides of the cabin offer sliding glass windows to let in fresh air and cross breezes especially when both sides are opened. As lovely as the interior space may be, the most stunning feature is the unfettered view through the wall of windows to nature that surrounds.    

The bedroom is well furnished with an uber-comfortable king-size bed. The bathrooms are large and well-equipped with a walk-in shower. Each unit is self-contained and includes a kitchenette with all the amenities necessary to self-cater a meal in your cabin.  Transportation around the property is courtesy of an all-terrain fwd golf cart that makes jetting from your cabin to the restaurant and other parts of the property a fun adventure.

Gastronomic Adventures

Good wine demands good food and the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel has got that covered as well. Meals are an absolute joy, set high upon a bluff overlooking the vineyards and surrounding sierras. The view is stunning, especially in the evening as the sun seems to take hours to set beyond the horizon. In the center of the bluff is a 40-foot wood hilltop communal table that seats a few dozen guests for an alfresco feast under the sky.

The fine dining cuisine is prepared by their talented chef with a focus on a haute regional menu.  Expect fine dining dishes such as a traditional Uruguayan asado of lamb flawlessly paired with their craft wines. Sacromonte focuses on farm-to-table with their just-picked fresh produce coming from their extensive organic gardens.

Sacromonte Wines

Sacromonte is a beautiful vineyard in the mountains with lovely accommodations and exceptional gastronomy. The vineyards are the focal point as well as the wines they produce. Just as Brunello is to Tuscany and  Hermitage is to South Africa or Vinho Verdeis to Portugal, the grape of Uruguay is the Tannat, and it is as equally wonderful.  Sacromonte produces Tannat as well as a range of other varietals grown from high-end wine rootstock from France. 

Their boutique wines garnered international acclaim with their debut in 2020 and the first vintage of Carapé 2018, a fermented blend of Tannat, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 19 months. Their first foray into the international wine stage was awarded the Gold Medal (96 points) establishing it and Urgaguayn wines as one region to be reckoned with.  Other wines of note are the full-bodied Tannants with aromas of blackberries and dried herbs ideal for pairing with roasted red meats. The iconic Six Strains, a medium-body wine with elegant tannins is the result of a co-fermentation of six red varieties: Tannat, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marselan, and Syrah resulting in a fruity wine with aromas of currants, raspberries, lime peels, and fresh flowers. The bright cherry pink colored Orange Rose, and Cabernet Sauvignon round out the offering from the boutique winery.     

Endless Walking Trails and Nature Hikes

There is so much to see and do on the property for those who love nature. All around is stunning wildlife to see and explore. There are hikes through pine forests and dense, perfumed groves of eucalyptus that open onto lookouts proving endless views around the property. There are well-marked trails as well through the moss-covered enchanted forests next to a stream and ponds. One could hike for a week and never come across the same trail.

This refuge from a manic-paced world is nothing less than angelic, set high in the remoteness of Uruguayan mountains surrounded by gorgeous scenery. The creature comforts are all provided for as guests dine on delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and then retire and wake in a haven of luxury with views to die for.

For those of us who love wine, there’s nothing like enjoying a glass of wine amongst the vines from which it is produced. Wine is about terroir: the soil, the vines, and the people who produce it. A stay at the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel allows guests to live amongst the vines that produce the wines they will grow to love during their stay- and long after they return home. For the wine lover, it simply does not get much better than this.  

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 105 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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