Uruguay has more acres planted with olive trees than grapes. However whilst Uruguayan wines are starting to get worldwide recognition, the country’s top quality olive oils are still a real secret.
Olives have been grown in Uruguay since colonial times. Though it’s only been in the last dozen years that growers started to plant more extensively. Uruguay with its rolling hills and Mediterranean-type climate is excellent for olive growing.
As production is small, producers focus on quality, not quantity. According to the national olive oil association, Uruguay is one of the top ten countries producing highest quality extra virgin olive oils.
Boutique olive oil production close to the beach
Lote 8 is an ultra chic olive oil producer perched on a hilltop with 360 degree views of some of the most beautiful countryside in Uruguay, the Eden Valley.
It is just a forty minute drive from Punta del Este and slightly further from Jose Ignacio along the glorious Ruta 12. Ruta 12 is one of the most picturesque highways in Uruguay.
The estate is well worth a visit for the views and the chance to buy some very special presents to take back home as a reminder of Uruguay.
The Lote 8 estate building is a lovely place you can spend an hour or two, browsing and just sitting with that fabulous view.
The elegant gift shop stocks oil (of course). Other gift ideas include handmade candles, soaps and chocolates, all made with extra virgen olive oil.
The award-winning packaging and bottles are blown in Mexico and make a lovely present.
Lote 8 also produces an olive oil produced exclusively for the Uruguayan market – La Repisada. Personally I love it. It’s more economical and still a high quality oil which comes in “intense” and “mild” (suave) blends.
A Mediterranean climate
The estate is located at the foot of Cerro Dos Hermanos or Two Brothers Hill. Its numerous streams irrigate the olive trees on the slopes naturally.
There’s enough water that olives grow as quickly here as they do in the Mediterranean, the world’s most important olive growing region.
In fact, Valle Eden has a climate very similar the Mediterranean‘s, with mild winters, rainy autumns and springs and warm, dry summers.
How to get to Lote 8
If you want to see some of the interior of Uruguay without having to drive a long way Lote 8 and the nearby village of Pueblo Eden are a great choice because they are an easy drive from Montevideo and the beach.
Lote 8 is a 40 minute drive from Punta del Este along the picturesque Ruta 12.
From Montevideo it’s just over an hour and a half‘s drive away. Take the coastal highway (IB) passed Pan de Azucar and come off at Ruta 12.
The estate is well signed-posted after you leave Ruta 12. Remember you may have to stop for gauchos herding cattle.
Arranging your visit
Send an email to manager, Martin, at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your day and estimated time of arrival. Martin will do his best to ensure that he is around as he speaks some English. Do tell him you found out about the estate through Guru’Guay.
If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, you can also just drop in on weekdays as there are personnel between 8am and 4pm but an email if possible in advance is preferred.
Guru Deal 10% off on all purchases when you mention Guru’Guay in your email or at the shop.