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Alto de la Ballena



Our Wines:  Please click here to view wines


Location and climate

The estate is located about 10 miles from the sea, on a slope of Sierra de la Ballena (“Whale Hills”), in the south east region of Uruguay. Well drained, the vines grow on soils of weathered granite with inlaid quartz and limestone concretions. Grapes ripe slow and gentle due to moderate sunny days and cool nights with breezes from Atlantic Ocean.




In 2000 Paula Pivel and Alvaro Lorenzo got to turn their love of wine into a business and life project.  After months searching for a piece of land with proper conditions for vine growing they found a rocky hillside plot close to the Atlantic Ocean, with beautiful landscapes and strategically located near Punta del Este, the best summer retreat of South America.

In 2001 they started planting the vines, which now reach 10 hectares that include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Viognier and the requisite Tannat.

Current production is 60 thousand bottles, and will reach 30% more in two years’ time.




The winery was built in 2007. Located next to the vines it is equipped with appropriate technology to ensure quality throughout the winemaking process and managing grapes in small batches.



Viticulture Information

We selected clones of great wine-producing varieties grafted on the rootstocks that would best adapt to the soil of each plot and to the local climate. The vineyard aims at producing high quality through low yields and cultural practices such as de-shooting, leaf removal, and cluster thinning. Harvest decision is based on the combination of grapes tasting and lab analysis carried out with state-of-the-art equipment. All of this plus very low yields – between one and two kilos per plant – ensure the best ripening conditions. 


People: Owners: Paula Pivel and Alvaro Lorenzo. Winemaker: Soledad Mello Vineyard advisor: Nestor Merino. Winemaking advisor: Duncan Killiner