Imagine if you will, a paradise that combines the best elements of exciting wingshooting with the refinements of fine living in a Tuscan-like vineyard nestled among the rolling hills of Uruguay, where days are filled with fast-paced almost chaotic volume dove shooting, and midday breaks feature fresh lunches and sips from the vineyard, served al fresco under a warm winter sun. The scent of wild flowers, fruit trees, and barbecues over glowing coals fill the clean air. Carmelo Lodge combines all the features of a refined and inviting vineyard stay, plus dove shooting that is as exciting as any in South America. This is the perfect holiday for couples or a family group that wants to enjoy great shooting and great living in the friendliest little country you could ever wish to visit.
The Viganó family, with roots in Fiesole, right in the heart of Tuscany, always migrated searching for places where they felt at home. During their search, this generation found its place in Carmelo, Uruguay. They settled here with an idea in mind: to build a place where family, friends and customers felt comfortable, and could easily mix all of the elements up and create great stories.
A place where you arrive for the first time, but somehow you realize you´ve already been here. A house, a gallery with a huge vine, a big country table with homemade honest food, fire and wine. Delicious wine. And just like that, in 2013 Campotinto was born from that simple idea. What started as a winery, ended up as a whole experience through the vines, the Inn and the Restaurant.
Just like almost all wineries in Uruguay, Campotinto went full-on for Tannat, a strain that managed to transform the country into a real stand-out amongst wine making countries. Being a boutique winery, it’s all about the care of the vine, the perfect ripening of its grapes, the expertise, the passion and the technology. Sum it all up and the result is the best expression of this terroir´s grapes.
Campotinto began vinification in 2012, and to this date they have different expressions of Tannat, Blends, Viognier and its stellar sparkling wine Medio y Medio, developed as a tribute to the famous beverage born years ago at the Port of Montevideo. In 2015, it was praised and acclaimed by The New York Times, described as ‘’Tuscany in miniature’’.
Dove hunting is available year-round. A microclimate generated by the union of the Uruguay and Paraná rivers that make up the great estuary of the Río de la Plata. Untold volumes of warm water flows from the north to converge off the coast of Carmelo, Uruguay.
The Rio de la Plata estuary regulates inland temperatures and this region boasts huge agricultural development. In addition, an abundance of rolling, low hills, makes the perfect environment for the dove to reproduce.
Sightseeing tip- the harvest season for the wineries runs from mid-february to mid-march
Guests of Carmelo Lodge have multiple means of arrival/departure from the lodge based on their point of origin or final destination.
Vía Uruguay – Most commonly, shooters will fly internationally into Montevideo Carrasco International Airport (MVD). From there, hunters have two options to get to Carmelo Lodge:
Vía Argentina – Those coming via Argentina, either flying through Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) or those who are spending some time in the country prior to the lodge stay, have the following options:
Carmelo Lodge is located in the homonymous city, in western Uruguay, noted for its wineries. It is the only city founded personally by the Uruguayan national hero José G. Artigas, and it still holds this office proudly. It is also located just an hour away from the historic city of Colonia del Sacramento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The majestic Uruguay River, the countryside and its quiet rolling slopes, an astounding combination of long-lived trees, centuries-old wineries, tradition and tranquility, that’s what Carmelo is all about. A microclimate generated by the union of the Uruguay and Paraná rivers that make up the great estuary of the Río de la Plata. Masses of warm water that come from the north and that converge off the coast of Carmelo, in Uruguay.
Shooting for the doves in Uruguay is not unlike dove shooting anywhere else, and shooters will be placed along a flight line with an eye toward the best shooting, safety, and sun and wind position. If a shooter appears exposed, guides may also place you behind a small blind or screen- whatever it takes to maximize your shooting opportunities for that day.
Each shooter will be assigned a field assistant, and they are charged with locating downed birds, keeping you topped off on cartridges and providing any assistance whether it be with shooting or refreshment. Once all shooters are in place, shooting will begin in earnest and you are welcome to shoot at your own pace until the midday break. Lunch location will depend upon drive time, if short you will return to the lodge for a tasty meal and perhaps a short siesta. If a longer drive was required to locate exceptional shooting, lunch will be served in the field, with time reserved for a nap in the shade before the afternoon shooting session. After the afternoon shoot, shooters return to the lodge where cocktails and appetizers are served before a delicious dinner.
Mornings will begin with a wakeup call, approximately an hour before departure time. Breakfast will be served shortly thereafter, with everything from waffles to Eggs Benedict, all made to order. Hunters will depart the lodge after breakfast, usually, around 8:30 – 9:00am. The morning shoot will begin upon arrival at the field. You will be met by your field assistant, and escorted to your shooting position. Additionally, our head guide will also be available to assist or provide tips on your hunting if desired.
You will shoot until noon each day, return to the lodge for lunch, and some time to relax. After lunch, and a short siesta, the afternoon shooting begins at around 2 – 3pm. Depending on the time of the year, evening hunts last until 5 to 7pm; there is no required quitting time, good sense and tired shooters dictate when the day is through. After the shooting day has come to an end, you will return to the lodge, where you will be met with cocktails & appetizers, followed by a delicious dinner and time to relax.
Just five minutes away is a gem of a golf course- Carmelo Golf is destined to be one of the most notable courses in South America, this magnificent 18 hole track already has fans who can’t stop commenting about its natural beauty and challenging design, which places beautiful golf holes in rolling vineyard terrain as if they belonged there.
WINE & DINE EXPERIENCE
With such a lovely lodge and options for fine wines and dining, hunters have several options in this attractive region. During your hunting stay you may arrange a dining experience at one of the other nearby wineries as part of a larger wine tour of Uruguay. Or, for yet a deeper dive into the wines, you could extend your stay at Carmelo Lodge after your hunting stay is complete and while staying at Carmelo, also visit the other wineries as well. Or lastly, stay at one of the other wineries after your shooting stay at Carmelo for the ultimate shooting and wine tour of friendly Uruguay.
Our kitchens come to life through the use of fresh and regionally representative meats and produce. By combining these elements, we create delicious flavors and varied textures that harbor hidden stories and package traditions on each plate. A top-notch team of experienced national and international chefs, trained in both classic and avant-garde culinary techniques will create dishes, with an artisan’s touch, influenced by the earthiness of the surroundings and landscape, that can be enjoyed in our inviting dining room. Freshness is paramount and flavors the key.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. At our lodges, it consists of choices from local free-range eggs benedict to organic and healthy foods – we change the options daily to keep things fresh.
Our inspired lunch and dinner menus are paired with some of the very best local wines. All our beef comes from grass-fed cattle raised locally to our estancia. We carefully select our suppliers, guaranteeing the high quality, flavor, and tenderness of the meat we serve.
In addition to our focus on fresh food with organic origins, we also celebrate our heritage with a wine partnership that brings truly world-class wines to our lodges. Our wide selection of finest wines, the best argentine malbec from our region in Mendoza, and a large variety of other grape selections, are served by a prepared team. We feel that the food we present and the wines we serve should mirror the sporting opportunities we offer—and be the very best available. While our vast country offers many options for traditional activities such as riding, hunting, eating good meats, and drinking good wines, we have chosen to blend fine food and outdoor activity at an even higher level.
If you’d like to extend your stay for a whole winery-experience you can add a few nights at one of our partner wineries. Or, you can opt to dine at either one of them during your stay with us, for an extra charge.
Season 2022-23 – All year round
Rates fluctuate between $700 and $850 per person per night – based on single occupancy & shared blind – These rates are flexible based upon month of the season, number of hunters in the group, and lodge availability—please CONTACT US for an accurate quote.
* Non-hunters: $650 per person per night.
* Hunting Licenses: $395 per person for the total stay
* Gun Rental: $115 per person p/day
* Shells: $17.50 per box approx.
Our research and experience tell us that over 50% of bird hunters are also actively interested in big game hunting, while over 60% are captivated by fishing. If you are a part of that majority, and are interested in adding variety to your sporting life, look no further than Red Stag Patagonia and Nervous Waters Fly Fishing. All three brands are proud members of The Kautapen Group – a single team of dedicated professionals focused on maintaining the highest standard of service and elevating your sporting experiences.