Juanicó, Montevideo: The City of Love

Tiffany Patterson
4 min readFeb 28


A picture of a tree, mini wooden coach, and bench.
Photo by the author: Familia Deicas Vineyard

Where a tree had once been erected, I sat in the hot sun, exhausted from an early morning of ferry riding and city strolling. I fixated on the hypnotic roundabout of cars circling the Monumento a Aparicio Saravia. Wondering what he had done to deserve such a monument in his honor, I did a quick Google search that, buried in historical accounts of Uruguayan political revolutions, yielded few results of another revolutionary action — love.

While participating in one of his many military endeavors, Aparicio Saravia met Cándida Díaz. Knowing her parents would challenge the union, Díaz fled home to elope with Saravia on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Little is known about the couple’s marriage and even less about Cándida Díaz de Saravia. By uncovering this rebellious love story, I imagined what romantic story Establecimiento Juanicó had birthed and bottled to share with its visitors at Bodega Familia Deica.

When I arrived at the massive property, I was enamored of the ground’s enchanting architecture and land stretching as far as the sea with rippling green waves of leaves dancing in the warm breeze. Before entering the wine-tasting lodge, I briefly cooled off on a bench in the shade just outside the tasting lodge’s entrance. Greeted by one of the winery’s furry residents, I reached to brush its shiny dark fur while staring at the endless rows of grapes ahead.

Pulling myself from the daydream induced by the vineyard’s stretch, I patted my new furry friend’s back goodbye, walked over to the tasting lodge, and was promptly accommodated as a solo taster and diner. It was a challenge to remain present, constantly freeing myself from the captivating beauty of the lodging’s decor while I awaited the Experiencia Deica to commence.

Once it had, I was transported to the love story of Saravia and Díaz — from when they first caught sight of one another to when they were finally free to embrace each other. The poetic sommelier guided me through the history of each wine, of which Don Francisco Juanicó’s subsequent ownership of the once Jesuit-owned property exemplified resounding resoluteness echoed in that of the Saravia-Díaz union.

Love at first sight

The Espumante Castelar Brut Rose was bubbly and playful without an overbearing flavor that nicely balanced the saltiness of the black caviar over thin squid crisps.

The Introduction

The Gran Vino de Corte Preludio Blanco, 100% Chardonnay, added a complementary velvety wholesomeness to the delicious buttery cauliflower soup.


I was surprised by the seductive and ever-changing aromas of the multi-red blend Gran Vino de Corte Preludio Tinto and its morphing qualities. The sommelier suggested swirling (or aerating) before each smell and taste to enjoy alongside the beetroot puree, edamame, and smokey-flavored mollejas.

The Escape

The dry and bold-flavored Massimo Deicas Cru Tannat helped balance the protein-filled dish of a juicy beef cut garnished with cashews and a spicy green sauce.


The Botrytis Noble is now my favorite sweet wine as, unlike the sweet wines I have tasted, it has a perfect acidic balance that prevents a sugar overload. The wine, paired with peaches, cashews, and a creamy, white chocolate puree, tasted like how a kiss would: softly sweet with a tangy temptation.

The Embrace

Served chilled, the sommelier poured the chilled Licor de Tannat with a ceremonious delicacy. Historically grown in South France, Uruguayan soil provided exceptional promise for producing this deep-red, licorice-scented wine. The Tannat was paired with red berries, Italian meringue, Belgian chocolate cake, and an irresistible sticky berry syrup to end with a dangerous yearning for more Familia Deicas’s love in a bottle.

To tame my craving for more, the staff concluded my wine tasting with an offering of some smooth heat as a delicious complimentary taste of the establishment’s beautifully aged cognac.

A bottle of cognac and filled shot glass on a glass tabletop.
Photo by the author: Familia Deicas Aged Cognac

The spellbound experience at Bodega Familia Deica exceeded expectations. Everything on the land, on a dish or in a bottle, had a story. And to further bind this love spell, the tour of the vineyard, its factory, and its centuries-old cellar swept me through time and back with a lesson: romance cannot exist through restraint.



Tiffany Patterson

Proud first-generation Caribbean-American sharing personal and professional experiences—unapologetically. I aim for reflection, not perfection.