Narbona Wine Lodge
Eight miles from quaint Carmelo and set just back from the Río de la Plata, Finca Narbona is a destination unto itself. Situated on an estancia, wine flows from the estate, championed by bold tannats. The winery complements a fully functioning farm that includes a creamery, an olive oil mill, and a bakery. The serene, picture-pretty setting invites oenophiles to slow down to a pace that moves no quicker than a bicycle meandering through a vineyard.
There are just five rooms at this Relais & Châteaux-associated wine lodge, each named for a wine varietal. Wood beams and furniture mingle with starch white walls and wainscotting beneath chandeliers, evoking the romance of a French farmhouse. Most suites have clawfoot bathtubs, some have a wood-burning stove, and each has a balcony, private terrace, and a king-size bed; three face the winery, and two overlook the vineyard.
Common areas at Finca Narbona include the Communal Yard (relax beneath a “roof” of vines, chorused by a babbling fountain), a Reading Room lounge (relax on a leather sofa next to a stately fireplace), an outdoor pool (umbrella-shaded loungers stand upon checker-board tile), and a pool bar.
Meals and tastings at Finca Narbona can be enjoyed indoors or out. There are two wine cellars where guests can enjoy a private tour, wine tastings or wine-and-cheese pairings; a basket can be packed for a vineyard picnic; and an on-site restaurant serves regional fare that fills the heart and stomach. Most menu items are made with homegrown and homemade provisions like artisanal cheese, dulce de leche, olive oil, and jams. In this corner of Uruguayan Wine Country, sip local tannat, pinot noir, petit verdot, and syrah.
Afternoons can be spent cycling through the 37-acre vineyard or picturesque rural countryside of Carmelo. Cool off at the pool or in the shade of a palapa at a private “beach” club on the river. If you prefer to be more hands-on, take a wine blending class or learn about grappa. When visiting during harvest, help pick grapes. Before departing, be sure to reserve an evening to enjoy a sunset cruise on the Río de la Plata.
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