Annual wine consumption is on the rise. Figures released last week show the amount of wine drunk in Uruguay rose to 34 litres per capita, compared to 25.4 litres in 1991 and 31 litres in 1997.

Uruguay annually produces between 120,000 tonnes and 130,000 tones of grapes, according to the Uruguayan national wine institute INAVI, with 96.5% of this amount being used for wine -making. Over 500,000 people are employed in the grape-growing and wine-producing industries.

The country produces around 85m litres of wine a year, 35% of which is red wine. Rose wine accounts for 22%, while white wine represents 11%. Uruguay exports only 1.1% of its total wine production, as Uruguayans consume mainly locally-produced wine.

The number of wineries in the country has fallen, however, from 500 to 300 in the last 10 years.