Learning Everywhere by Maggie Laughlin

My favorite day in Montevideo continues to change the more I get to know the city. My current favorite day occurred this past weekend. For my Global Business Management and Viticulture class, we got to go as a class to visit one of Uruguay’s popular wineries, Pizzorno Family Estates. I was expecting that we would just be walking through their vineyards, but I was happily surprised that we would be doing even more than that, including some hands-on activities. Our group of 11 arrived at 10am and already the atmosphere was unlike any other tour that I have been to, relaxed and in no rush to start. Our first stop on the tour began with the tour guides handing out clippers and baskets and then bringing us to one of their sections of vineyards across the road. We had 20 minutes to go through the vineyards and pick our own grapes with the clippers in order to fill our baskets, making sure to hold the cluster of grapes properly and finding the correct vine to cut off, so as not to put any grapes to waste. After the 20 minutes were up, we walked back to where we started with our baskets and I saw one of my classmates with her shoes off and feet in her basket of grapes. I thought that she was joking, until I watched everyone around me do the same. We all got in our baskets and stomped the grapes until they were smooshed enough to put in an even bigger container. The remainder of the tour was what I would think of as a more traditional tour. They brought us to the area in which they ferment the grapes and bottle them, all the while explaining the process. The tour ended with a three course meal, each course paired with a different wine made by Pizzorno to taste. This experience wasn’t at all what I was expecting, especially since we got to go through the process of winemaking ourselves, which made this experience unique and memorable.

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