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“A wonderful family day in Uruguay!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Wine Experience

The Wine Experience
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
+598 97 348 445
Website
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Type: Tours, Food & Drink
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Wine Experience will be offering Wine Tours in Colonia that includes: All Transfers, Private Expert Guide & Sommelier, Gourmet Lunch in Carmelo at a Relaix & Chateau Property, Visit to 1 or 2 Historic Wineries, All Tastings, Traditional Uruguayan BBQ at an Estancia that includes a horse ride through the vineyards. Even if you don't drink wine you will get to see the Best of Colonia & Carmelo with beautiful scenery and the ppportunity to meet the Owners & Winemakers face to face. You will be welcomed like an "old friend". Please click on the website for further details, or contact Ryan via the email form. We know you work hard - some come and join us - you deserve it !!
Long Beach, California, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A wonderful family day in Uruguay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

My wife, daughters, and I took the ferry from Buenos Aires to Uruguay for a day adventure we had booked with Ryan and The Wine Experience. We didn't know what to expect as this was our first time in South America and only had one day for Uruguay. In short, the day was fantastic.
Ryan met us at the ferry and shuttled the family to Finca Piedra winery for the whole day. We were worried that our daughters (8 and 4) might get bored but this was not the case. They had a game room, animal farm, bikes, and horse back riding for them to enjoy. Ryan gave my wife and I a fantastic wine tasting experience and we were served a killer BBQ lunch. The entire day was amazing and Ryan was the perfect host. We highly recommend Ryan and The Wine Experience if you plan to spend any time in Uruguay. You won't be disappointed with the itinerary or your guide.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at The Wine Experience, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Dear M&H:

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our Fabulous Adventure together. I am so happy you enjoyed this Family Grape Escape, and it was a real treat getting to know all of you. I enjoyed the day immensouly, and look forward to welcoming you in Punta del Este next time round :)

Gracias totales !!!

Ryan Hamilton
Owner, The Wine Experience
"Promoting, Experiencing & Adventuring"
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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Excellent tour, highly knowledgeable tour guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

I contacted Ryan on an impulse a few days before my fiance and I visited Colonia for the first time. We really could not be happier with our decision - Ryan was prompt, professional and extremely knowledgeable about both wine and the specific wineries we visited. He drove four hours in the early morning to take us on a tour, and yet arrived on time and excited for our adventure. He always responded to emails within a few hours and offered a number of options, ultimately customizing a tour to fit our needs and busy schedule. He always answered my (many) questions, as well as calling the day before to confirm pick-up times and final schedules. He picked us up in his personal car at our hotel and dropped us off again after the tour - the door-to-door service was a huge perk, and something you do not often experience with larger wine tours.

Ryan took us to Bodega Bernardi and Irutira on our Colonia wine tour. Bernardi is just a few minutes outside of Colonia, and Irutira is located about an hour away in Carmelo, a route which takes you through miles of beautiful rolling hills and farmland. Both wineries are family-owned and seem very intimate and special, despite the fact that Irutira is one of the largest wineries in Uruguay. On both tours we were met by one of the family members, each of whom gave us a detailed tour of the winery and told great personal stories about their experiences growing up at a vineyard. The tasting glasses were generous - nothing like what you experience in the US - and the setting extremely relaxed and comfortable. Plus, the scenery is beautiful!

It was quickly apparent that we were in for a treat, as the tours were completely exclusive with just us, Ryan and the winery owners. Moreover, Ryan was close friends with each of the owners and was extremely knowledgeable about both the wineries and the wine. He helped translate whenever there was a language barrier, often throwing in extra facts or personal experiences. We joked, drank wine, got to know the winery owners, and spoke in multiple different languages about our travel experiences. One of the owners even popped open a bottle of a special, limited-edition family wine to celebrate Ryan's recent wedding. What a treat!

Mostly, what impressed us was Ryan's passion and knowledge for wine. Having worked in the industry for many years, he was less of a tour guide and more of an expert sommelier. He walked us through each step of the wine experience, teaching us about the chemical composition of the wine as well as the best ways to smell and taste each glass. As someone who could previously not tell a Merlot from a Malbec, I came away from this experience with a great deal of knowledge and appreciation for wine. His obvious passion is infectious, and he kept us enraptured and entertained throughout the entire journey. As previous commenters have explained, a tour with Ryan is more like hanging out with an old friend than anything else.

We were initially concerned about spending the money for a private wine tour, but ultimately realized that this was a fantastic decision. If you are looking for a tour where you're part of a huge group of people and are shepherded through a winery as fast as possible, this is not for you. However, if you are looking for a highly personal, customized experience with an extremely knowledgeable sommelier, please call Ryan! I can honestly say that our tour with him was one of the highlights of our Colonia trip, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to have a great experience.

Visited April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at The Wine Experience, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Dear P&D:

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our Fabulous Adventure together. I loved showing you the very best of Colonia & Carmelo in one Unforgettable Day. Since then we did another tour in Montevideo with the family, and I have enjoyed showing you this beautiful country.

Gracias totales !!!

Ryan Hamilton
Owner, The Wine Experience
"Promoting, Experiencing & Adventuring"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilmington, delaware
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Perfect Day!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

My husband and I were visiting Colonia for 3 days in March 2012 and I am so happy that we booked this trip with Ryan.....it was fantastic. We visited the Bernardi winery in Colonia, Irurtia and Narbona in Carmelo. All were great, but we especially enjoyed our time at Narbona. The grounds are beautiful and our meal delicious. Ryan was so informative about the wineries and areas we visited and we loved getting to know him as well. It felt like we were hanging out with an old pal all day. It didn't hurt that the weather was absolute perfection as well! Great experience, highly recommended!

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at The Wine Experience, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Dear J:

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our Fabulous Adventure together. We had such fun visiting 3 wineries (one in Colonia and 2 in Carmelo), and it was great to hang out with a young cool couple for the day :)

Gracias totales !!!

Ryan Hamilton
Owner, The Wine Experience
"Promoting, Experiencing & Adventuring"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A highlight of our trip to Uruguay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2012

My wife and I spent 4 nights in Colonia and were fortunate enough to secure Ryan for a fantastic day of wine, food, and a trip through the Uruguayan countryside. I can say without a doubt that our day with Ryan was a highlight of our week in South America, and a perfect outing for us as we enjoyed some much needed "alone time" away from our kids!

Ryan was easy to communicate with ahead of time to secure a date, agree on an itinerary and price, and put all the logistics in place. Despite a long drive to Colonia for him, he showed up at our hotel right on time to start our day.

The first stop on our Winelands Adventure was at the small, family-run Bodgea Bernardi where we enjoyed a nice Tannat, sampled their famous Grappas, and snacked on homemade breads with one of the owners. It was a wonderful visit where we almost felt like old friends being welcomed for a visit and to share a drink.

After a relaxing drive through the countryside to Carmelo, we spent the afternoon at Bodega Narbona, for an experience like no other. Narbona is a marvelous winery/restaurant/lodge where no expense has been spared to create an amazing experience for its guests. After a short tour of the winemaking facilities with the winemaker, we enjoyed a private tasting with her in an old cellar. In addition to sampling some wonderful wines, the tasting was paired with several of Narbona's own cheeses and meats. After the tasting, we were taken up to the terrace outside the restaurant for a private lunch, paired with a bottle of wine of our choosing (in our case, the Pinot Noir, a little lighter after a morning of Tannats and Grappas!).

We can offer nothing but compliments for Ryan and the day he put together for us. Its obvious that the we were the beneficiaries of the rapport and friendship he's developed with the local wineries, who did everything they could to make us feel at home. For wine novices like my wife and I, having someone like Ryan to share his expertise with us throughout the day was fantastic and allowed us to learn some of the basics of wine tasting and selection. Beyond the wine aspect of the day, spending the day with Ryan was more like being with an old friend than it was with a tour operator, and made for a light, relaxed day.

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at The Wine Experience, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Dear J:

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our Fabulous Adventure together. The Wine Experience for me is like catching up with old friends, and this tour described it best. I can see you guys coming back sometime soon. Thanks for taking me on vacation :)

Gracias totales !!!

Ryan Hamilton
Owner, The Wine Experience
"Promoting, Experiencing & Adventuring"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encinitas, CA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great tour, Great wines, great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2011

Ryan took us to two wineries, very different, & very good. The private tours, with him and the sommeliers from each winery was wonderful. We visited Narbona & Bernardi, with a spectacular lunch at Narbona. We were surprised by the quality of the wines, especially those made from the Tannat grape. It was truly one of the best tour and tasting experiences that we have had anywhere. My wife and I would highly recommend the experience and Ryan.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wine7Guy7, Owner at The Wine Experience, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
Dear P&J

What a Pleasure... What a Day... What Great Memories !! Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our Adventure together with TWE. I loved showing you 2 completely different wineries, which is what you want from a Private Wine Tour. It was especially great getting to know you 2 who were so delightful. I loved the Experience... it was an Adventure back in time.... and ever so Romantic i must add ;) I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Happy New Year ;)

Ryan Hamilton
Owner, The Wine Experience
"Promoting, Experiencing & Adventuring"
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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