Reinaldo de Lucca, or El Tano (meaning 'the Italian') as he is known throughout the wine industry of his native land, is a Uruguayan agronomist and winemaker of Italian descent who studied in the US and at Montpellier in the south of France, giving him a broad outlook.
He is a gifted viticulturist, siting most of his vineyards at the top of the small rolling hills that characterise the countryside. Here the soils, often with some limestone content, are shallower, better drained and warmer, which helps promote ripening, important in the wet Uruguayan climate where 1,100mm falls a year, but the vines need just 700mm.
His plots lie at Canelones in the El Colorado region, 35 kilometres from the vast gaping mouth of the River Plate as it flows out into the South Atlantic, and are planted with the tannat grape which is much planted in Uruguay thanks to 19th century Basque settlers, as well as syrah, marsanne, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc, sangiovese and chardonnay.
This close to the ocean, the climate is temperate for South America and he tends his three vineyards, covering 50 hectares, as naturally as possible out of respect for the untrammelled environment around him.
In the winery there are few bells and whistles, with Reinaldo taking a simple, very hands-on approach to winemaking that might best be described as traditional, even artisanal. He certainly understands his vines better than most, running a successful vine nursery alongside the winery.