A TRADITION BEGINS
Establecimiento Juanicó winery was acquired by Familia Deicas in 1979, by Juan Carlos Deicas, who introduced a new, unconventional vision, with the incorporation of modern technologies and purposeful industrial investment.
The first step was to completely reorient the winery, dedicating it to the creation of fine wines, particularly, the cultivation of noble French grape varieties. Through an unprecedented study of soils and crops in Uruguay, it was discovered that the region had the same vine growing virtues as the Bordeaux region. Based on this finding, the cultivation of the most renowned French varieties was tested.
This commenced frequent trips to Europe, mostly France and Italy, and ongoing contact with consultancy agencies and experts from Australia, USA, Argentina and Chile, in search of further knowledge and new technologies.
PRELUDIO IS BORN
In search of creating fine wines in Uruguay, Familia Deicas created Preludio, inspired by aged Bordeaux wines.
A high cellaring capacity wine, oaked for more than 24 months in the underground cellar built in stone in 1745.
FAMILIA DEICAS IN THE WORLD
Two years later, the first shipping container packed with wines for export by Uruguay was shipped to London, becoming the first winery to open the world’s doors to Uruguayan wines.
Through Familia Deicas, Uruguay won the first Grand Gold Medal in the prestigious Bacchus competition in Spain. The first award capable of making the entire Uruguayan wine industry proud, was in the hands of Preludio.
FIRST NOBLE ROT IN URUGUAY
The never-ending drive for innovation led Familia Deicas to seek the production of Sauternes-style noble rot wines in Uruguay–a challenge, as few places in the world produce this phenomenon. This is how Botrytis Noble Rot from Familia Deicas was born, making it the first botrytised wine in Uruguay.
PRELUDIO CONQUERS EUROPE
Preludio is chosen as Vinitaly’s top aged wine for the Grand Gold Medal, being the first wine outside of Italy or France to obtain this recognition. This changed the history of wine in Uruguay.
ISO 9001 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Establecimiento Juanicó becomes the first South American winery to obtain the rigorous ISO 9001 Quality Certification.
THE BEGINNING OF GRAN CASA MAGREZ
The international rise of Familia Deicas spurs association with highly prestigious and refined French wineries such as Château Pape Clément. In partnership with the latter, “Gran Casa Magrez” is produced in Uruguay and becomes the first Uruguayan wine for the most demanding market in the world: the French. In addition, marketing agreements are signed with Vinson Richards in the U.S.A. and Bright Brothers in the UK and other European countries.
FAMILIA DEICAS WINERY IS BORN
The search begins throughout different regions of Uruguay to find places that, combined with experience and meticulous work, are capable of producing wines with the characteristics that our winery demanded. The Bodega Familia Deicas project was also separated from Establecimiento Juanicó this year–both owned by Familia Deicas.
CASTELAR, A MÉTHODE CHAMPENOISE
At the hand of Pierre Yves Harang, winemaker from Champagne – France, Cuvée Castelar is born, a Méthode Champenoise backed by many years of research.
FIRST TANNAT LIQUEUR IN URUGUAY
Fernando Deicas, driven by the idea of achieving a port-style wine, created the first Tannat Liqueur in Uruguay together with his sons Santiago Deicas and Nino Deicas. At the same time, the Juanicó storm occurred–a tornado that destroyed several parts of the winery. Among them, the restaurant, which at that time was used as an event hall. Another major damage was incurred by the small tank where the first Tannat Liqueur was stored, thus limiting its production.
THE FIRST TANNAT IN THE BEST “CRU GARAGE” STYLE
The first Tannat produced according to the Bordeaux Cru Garage techniques in Uruguay was launched on the market. It is the 2000 vintage of Familia Deicas Tannat. Only 3,000 bottles were made.
A REVOLUTION BEGINS
The soil on a small plot at Domaine Castelar is inverted, and Tannat is planted. This is the beginning of a project that will become an Extreme Vineyard 14 years later.
THE PURSUIT OF THE BEST EXPRESSION
Familia Deicas, in its exhaustive search to find terroirs of unique characteristics, begins to acquire vineyards in different parts of Uruguay, starting with Garzón. Immediately after the purchase, it underwent the first stage of planting, that same year. This was carried out in 3 stages, culminating in October 2009. In 2010, vineyards were purchased in the Sierra de Mahoma area in San José and in El Carmen, in Durazno.
PAUL HOBBS JOINS THE TEAM
Famed winemaker, Paul Hobbs, joins the Familia Deicas team as a consultant. His innovative approach consisted of promoting the concept of “minimum intervention” during winemaking, which eliminates or reduces oenological additives, mainly sulfites, and implements the use of native yeasts. What began as a considerable challenge for Uruguayan viticulture, has now reaped exceptional results in its first presentations.
CERRO DEL GUAZUVIRÁ, AN EXTREME CHALLENGE
Two hectare plantation on the Cerro del Guazuvirá hill, in Lavalleja, next to Chacras de las Sierras. This vineyard, planted on bedrock and protected from Guazuvirás deer and wild boars, became the second Extreme Vineyard.
SUBSOIL: THE THIRD VINEYARD SUBJECTED TO EXTREME CONDITIONS
The plantation of the third Extreme Vineyard: Subsoil. Together with the Varela family in the town of Garzón, just 2 blocks from the plaza, a meter of soil was removed in order to plant directly on the heavily calcareous clay soil.
INVERTED SOIL IS RECOGNIZED BY DECANTER AS AN ICON WINE OF SOUTH AMERICA
Decanter magazine names Inverted Soil Extreme Vineyard as one of the 10 “next South American icon wines”, the only one from Uruguay. Santiago Deicas, 3rd generation Deicas and the winery’s oenologist, elaborates: “We have learned that genuine wines need a natural interpretation of the terroir. We cannot give a sense of place if we seek perfection, because we may be tempted to give it a makeover. With each new vineyard, we experiment with several micro-vinifications, and the conclusion is always the same: the best wines are those where the place prevails over the winemaker. This may sound like an easy approach, but it actually requires even more knowledge and work!”
SANTIAGO DEICAS NAMED WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR BY DESCORCHADOS
Descorchados magazine names Santiago Deicas as the Revelation Winemaker of the year, described with the following words: “…what he may lack in experience he makes up for with energy, an energy that today radiates the strongest in Uruguay.”
THE ENDLESS PURSUIT OF INNOVATION
The search continues and today Familia Deicas has micro terroirs throughout 12 regions of the country. They all share a marked coastal influence, which generates the climatic characteristics and conditions necessary for the production of our wines.