“Amazing Day with The Wine Experience”
Reviewed by Steph from Miami, USA
I found out about The Wine Experience on Trip Advisor only a few days before my husband and I were to set sail on a 7 night South American cruise. Ryan was quick to respond to my questions and we set a date for the tour quickly. After reading all the wonderful reviews, I was very excited. We met Ryan at the cruise tender in Punta Del Este and we were off an an amazing adventure! We visited the Alto de la Ballena winery and had a wonderful wine tasting and tour with the owner. We then visited Estancia Vik and had a fabulour gourmet lunch poolside. The views were breathtaking and the horseback riding experience around the property is not to be missed. The property is gorgeoous. After horseback riding we then took a drive to the other Vik property, Playa Vik. Wow is all I can say. It was even more amazing then Estancia Vik! I wanted to stay the night in their amazing suites and hang out in the infinity pool on the beach. Ryan is a very personable, professional man who loves his job and makes everyone feel extra special on his tours. He is HIGHLY recommended!
“The Excursion to do in Punta del Este”
Reviewed by Jason from Miami, USA
A “Do Not Miss” Experience while in Punte Del Este. We did the Wine Experience with Ryan and had an exclusive, unforgettable 8 hour day. Filled with great wine, beautiful scenery, fantastic gourmet, not to mention a beautiful horseback ride, we found Ryan to be very knowledgeable about the area and about his food and wine. It made a side stop port on our cruise itinerary the highlight of our trip. Thanks Ryan!
“A Complete Day Out”
Reviewed by Ed from London, UK
My wife and i were collected by Ryan from our hotel at 10:30am before embarking on a visit to La Ballena vineyard for our tour and education on winemaking from the owner and founder, then on to the tasting – this is a real treat, wine & cheese with the owner & Ryan chatting through each wine and discussing the dynamics of wine making amongst many other conversation topics is not what you tend to get on most wine tastings, this is very intimate and you feel very privileged for the access to the key people. We then met the winery’s main winemaker who continued our education…….Wonderful.
This alone would make the tour worthwhile, but then Ryan kicks into gear with his tour of the local area, including a visit to the majestic Estancia Vik before taking lunch at the 7 star (a first for us) Playa Vik in Jose Ignacio, with further wine sampling. The location was truly awesome as was the food and wine, all we could say is that we must come back here. Ryan took so much time to show is around and we even got to meet his beautiful wife to be Sabrina. By the time we were finished lunch and mooching around at Playa Vic we departed for Ryan’s wonderful tour of Jose Ignacio and the places that are a must see. Then for a final treat we stopped at a local wine shop for a night cap (nothing wrong with a Fosters & Fullers IPA for the boys, my wife chose to stick with the same Sauv Blanc she had for lunch and ended up with yet another bottle we somehow need to get back to the UK….or drink en route…). We would absolutely recommend the Wine Experience with Ryan, such a nice guy and has a great local & wine knowledge which makes you feel like a local in no time. To Ryan & Sabrina we hope you have a fantastic wedding.
“Honeymooners from London”
Reviewed by Helen from London, UK
My husband suggested this tour as we are both avid wine lovers. He showed me all the images from the website which were all very impressive and I can honestly say they are all accurate and even more impressive if anything. We went to the Ballena winery and met the owner and founder who gave us a tour of the winery, she gave us a huge amount of information about the wine process, the history of how her and her husband set up the winery. She was a lovely lady and the wines were amazing, we only purchased 2 bottles as we have to get them back to UK but would have purchased more. We were also lucky to meet one of the wine makers, who was also very friendly and answered all our questions.
Ryan then took us on a tour of the region around Punta del Este and we were so impressed on how beautiful the drive was to the lunch location. He kindly stopped off and showed us other sites and let us take huge amounts of pictures so we could capture every minute of which can only be described as a unforgettable experience. We arrived at the location and the tour just kept on getting better, the Playa Vik was stunning and my husband and I both agreed we will be returning as would like to spend more time getting to know the area and Hotel better. The food in Uruguay has been the best meals of our whole trip to South America and the Playa Vik did not disappoint. The staff were friendly and we had a wonderful time there. I can write so much more about how wonderful this tour was but could never do it justice, if you are luck enough to travel to Uruguay then I would strongly recommend this tour, it is worth every penny and more. Ryan was a wonderful tour guide and we are enjoyed every minute. This is a MUST DO TOUR.
“Punta del Este and Playa Vik with Ryan Very Memorable”
Reviewed by Steve from North Carolina, USA
We had a second outstanding day with Ryan visiting and tasting the great wines of Alta Bellena. The tasting pavilion is on a hillside with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside so the setting was perfect for a late morning tasting. Ryan took us out to Jose Ignacio for a visit and lunch at Playa Vik….all agreed that this was one of our most memorable meals. The resort location on the beach is stunning and the property is visually appealing. Our lunch and wine were excellent as well and it was hard to leave. Ryan again provided for all our comfort and excellent knowledge of the area and its culture, history etc. One of our best vacation days.
“Indescribable Experience!! Must do!!”
Reviewed by Paula from Brazil
I recently spent a romantic weekend with my boyfriend in Punta del Este, and “The Wine Experience” tour with Ryan was definitely the highlight! Ryan picked us up at 10 a.m and took us to a wine tour where we had the opportunity to visit a winery, learn a little bit about wine production and taste 4 or 5 different wines. After the tour, we had lunch at Playa Vik (which, by the way, was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to). Food was great and we could enjoy the breathtaking view of the beach and the infinity pool while eating! We ended the afternoon horseback riding in Estancia Vik – amazing views, wonderful experience! Ryan was very nice to us and made this experience one of the best we’ve ever had! I highly recommend!
“The Wine Experience is not to be missed!”
Reviewed by Barbara from Chicago, USA
I found The Wine Experience online and contacted the owner, Ryan about a potential tour / lunch while in Punta del Este over the holidays. He returned my email right away and sent me extensive information along with pictures, which was extremely helpful in making my decision. It was an incredible day of touring Jose Ignacio, seeing the property of Playa Vik, also exploring Estancia Vik, eating a gourmet 4-course lunch with wine pairings and then heading to a bodega for a wine tasting with the owner. It was a fantastic, if not, over-the-top day. I went back to Estancia Vik the next evening for the Christmas Eve celebration and was again ‘wowed” by the food and the experience. Met some amazing travelers as well, and plan to keep in touch with them and with Ryan. This is a must for anyone whom will be in PdE or Jose Ignacio…can’t wait to get back and do it again.
“Undiscovered Uruguay with The Wine Experience”
Reviewed by Rosa from Chicago, USA
Fabulous wine, breathtaking views and incredible architecture all in one relaxing day! My husband and I had only a few days out of our three wk trip to spend in Uruguay and we are so glad we contacted Ryan! He was able to introduce us to a fantastic boutique local winery (La Ballena) where we received a tour and tasting from the owner while overlooking the grassy Uruguayan lowlands. Then we zipped over to Jose Ignacio, the chic, low key lux holiday outpost of Punta del Este. We had lunch at the Carlos Ott designed Playa Vik private resort. World renowned architecture, lunch overlooking the ocean and beach, and sneak peak inside this exclusive area that the rest of the world has yet to discover! An amazing and worthwhile day! The Wine Experience is more than just wine. You’ll be hosted by a local insider who will take you to the coolest places and create a unique and singular Experience!
“A Must in Punta Del Este”
Reviewed by Steffanie from Chicago, USA
My husband and I made the quick decision to travel to Uruguay with little idea of what we were going to do. Luckily we took the chance and signed up for the Wine Experience. Ryan was prompt and picked us up at our hotel for a day that was truly unforgettable! We were with Ryan over Christmas Day when the wineries were closed but he made the experience amazing minus the winery tour. We traveled to the very exclusive Vik hotel where we had a wonderful wine tasting, amazing lunch with fresh grilled fish, and then headed to Estancia Vik, which is a breathtaking property for a horseback ride. Perfection!
Beyond The Wine Experience: Ryan is just fun and very personable. You feel like you have known if forever which makes the day very relaxed. He is also very very knowledgable about to do in La Barra, St. Igancio and Punta Del Este. He graciously took us around to his favorite restaurants and booked us dinner for that night. The whole day was amazing and you will feel like a local with Ryan. Don’t hesitate, book the experience for a unforgettable day with memories that will last a lifetime.
“Incredible! Worth Every Penny!”
Reviewed by Kyle from Chicago, USA
My wife and I went to Uruguay and without much research (just online) we found the Wine Experience online and decided to book it! This was the best impromtu purchase that we’ve done! First, you have to know that most people even with a map, do not have a clue on where to go in Jose Ignacio and the hot spots in the city. Second, even if you rented a car (which can be expensive) or take cabs around (which is really expensive), you get to go all over the city with Ryan Hamilton (very, very convenient) Ryan Hamilton speaks great English (obviously from being from South Africa) and this is great since most of Uruguay does not speak much English. Overall, it is an Experience, not just your normal wine tasting. Ryan will show and tell you the best places for dinners that you wouldn’t even know about by reading trip advisor or anything online. We went to 2 amazing restaurants that were hidden in woods and mostly locals and the rich come to know about. And of course, you do get a great amount of wine and we’ve learned more from Ryan than any other wine tour that we every went on! Just a great and fun experience, worth every penny. Visited December 2011
“Excellent Uruguay Wine Experiences”
Reviewed by Steve from North Carolina, USA
We had a wonderful experience visiting Carrau and Bouza wineries outside Montevideo. Ryan was a wonderful guide and host, just delightful to be with. His choices of vineyards along with his knowledge of the area and wine added to our positive experience. Margarita Carrau was an exceptional hostess and provided a very interesting tour and tasting of some very good wines. The lunch at Bouza was very nice too and the wines we tasted were very nice as well. If going to Montevideo, Ryan is the ‘go to’ person for having the best experience.
“Great way to see Uruguay Countryside and meet the local Producer”
Reviewed by Debbie from Ottawa, Canada
We thoroughly enjoyed the personal touch that Ryan provided on this wine tour. We got to meet two wine producers, got a personal tour by the owner and/or managers, and really got to appreciate their local perspective on their craft of wine making. The meal we enjoyed at Bouza was fantastic – the best steak ever (yes, even better than the Argentinian steak we enjoyed in Buenes Aires). We appeciated seeing the Montevideo countryside and meeting a couple of other tourists from Australia. We enjoyed their travel stories as well! If you like good food, good wine and pretty countryside, this is the right trip!
“We definitely give this Tour our Highest Recommendation”
Reviewed by Jeff from Seattle, USA
The wine tour that Ryan arranged for us in Uruguay was without a doubt the best wine tour we’d ever experienced. That is because Ryan tailored the tour exactly to our needs, and arranged an incredible day that included touring vineyards, sampling great wines, and a delicious lunch in a beautiful setting at one of the vineyards. The personalized experience, and the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the winemakers made this a very memorable experience. Though the area outside Montevideo does not have anything like the number of wine estates or the built-up wine tourism infrastructure of say, Napa/Sonoma or Cape Town or Mendoza, there are some brilliant wines produced and some top notch wineries well worth visiting. Also, the tour gives you the opportunity to see the area outside of town. As you leave the outskirts of Montevideo, the scenery becomes quite nice and its interesting to see the city trail off out into the countryside. We definitely give this tour our highest recommendation!
“TWE (Ryan) – Best Wine Tour Ever”
Reviewed by Paul from Atlanta, USA
Book Ryan early and often. We went to Bouza Vineyard, which was excellent. Ryan struck the right balance between outstanding wine knowledge w/o information overload. And he’s a lot of fun to be around. I highly doubt he’s ever met a stranger.
“Come Taste the Wine”
Reviewed by Ian from the UK
During a recent business trip to Uruguay I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Ryan and TWE. This guys rocks. His personality and individuality bring a whole new dimension to the way you look at wine. Ryan has an incredible knowledge of the subject and guides and educates in way that makes even the total novice (that would be me) feel extremely special. If you are fortunate enough to visit this incredible country and have the opportunity to spend time in one of its beautiful vineyards then take Ryan with you. I promise you will not be disappointed.
“The Absolute Best Wine Tour in Uruguay”
Reviewed by Andrea from Freeport, USA
Want to go to wineries in Uruguay? Which ones? When? Why? Call Ryan. Call Ryan Call Ryan. Ryan Hamilton is smart, fun, an expert, persistent, personable, and will make your wine tour dreams come true. the idea of wine tours in Uruguay is his baby. He saw the need for it and made it happen. We called Ryan and the next day he whisked us away to an afternoon of Montevideo area wineries. We sampled many wines, met with the owners of wineries, enjoyed delicious foods to accompany the wines, and learned so much. Memorable? yes- beyond that actually. Ryan is quite the guide. From South Africa originally his English is perfect. His goal is to make you happy and he has the skills to do it. Want the best? Call Ryan.