Francisco Carrau

Francisco Carrau was born in Montevideo on October 15, 1961 into the ninth generation of a family of vineyard owners and winemakers.

Thanks to his grandfather, Juan Carrau Sust, winemaker from Catalunya, Spain, the family records and documents dating back to the 16th Century were collected and brought to Uruguay

Francisco Carrau graduated from the University of the Republic of Uruguay in 1987 with a degree in Biological Sciences. In 1990, he did postgraduate studies in microbiology and biochemistry of wine at the Autonomous University of Madrid, thanks to a scholarship from the European Community.  Concurrent with his studies, he became involved in winemaking at his family winery in 1980.  He set up the first wine R&D laboratory in Uruguay at the Carrau winery, where they have been developing native yeasts since 1985.  It was while tasting wines with his father, Juan Carrau Pujol, that he realized that tasting is the winemaker’s main secret in the search to create a prestigious brand.

In 2003 he obtained a PhD in Chemistry at the University of the Republic of Uruguay School of Chemistry, under the direction of Dr. Paul A. Henschke of the Australian Wine Research Institute.

His studies and work in the industry have allowed him to identify the real problems of winemaking in Uruguay.

Today Francisco Carrau is Head Professor  of the Enology Section of the Food Science Department of University of the Republic and Head Winemaker of his family-owned winery in Uruguay, Bodegas Carrau and Castel Pujol. He has participated, since 1995, in the development of the new generation of quality wines that emerged with the growth of Uruguayan wine exports. Since April 2011 he has lead the Enology and Fermentation Biotechnology Group of the CSIC I+D program of University of the Republic, UdelaR, Uruguay (2011-2017).  This activity allows him to maintain contact with his students which is so essential for him. He thinks that the main weakness of the Uruguayan wine sector is the lack of training and continuing education opportunities for young winemakers.

In white wines he prefers partial barrel fermented Chardonnay with native yeasts and Sauvignon Blanc aged on the lees for a few months. In the case of red wines he is an enthusiast of Cabernet Franc and Tannat in American oak barrels. He thinks that the ongoing practice of tasting wines from around the world is part of the secret of a great winemaker.


Current research interest

Development of sustainable viticulture practices and “low-input winemaking” strategies for increased quality and wine differentiation. Yeast fermentation technology related to aroma and polyphenol compounds of grapes. Biodiversity of grape and wine microbiology and its potential application in food biotechnology.

Tradition of fine wines since 1752

Octavio Gioia

He was born in Montevideo on June 2, 1955. He comments that his father came to Uruguay from Piedmont and her mother from the Veneto. A purpose of family history in the wine tells us that recently discovered something he did not know. After his mother passed away he found a book from a small winery that his grandfather directed in Canelones.

His father made wines at friends houses, he did it with such care and responsibility that the child remembers as an important fact. At the same time processing what he promised to his short 12 years in family practice cellar.

Once Octavio Gioia became agronomist he earned a postgraduate scholarship in Italy. Spend 1986 and 1987 in Italy at the University of Torino. There winemaking is presented to him in the classes of well-known and prestigious teachers in Italy and France. When he returns to Uruguay he founded a project for the United Nations in 1987.

He invested four years in this project oriented technical support addressed to small businesses. Alongside the interest in wine became to be connected to Castle Pujol in 1988.Se begins in the laboratory in microbiology but then goes on to production which today is responsible for the development and quality control.

Sees no need to invent too must copy in a good way if possible always improving and adapting the model to the national productive reality.

It is necessary to reconcile all this with the research work, no need to talk much to notice how much passion and love for wine Octavio has. Enthusiastically claims that the Merlot is a variety that gives very good red wines in Uruguay.

In this sense Octavio believes that:

“The identity of the Uruguayan Tannat wine has been managed with great success with an obvious outcome in the market. Im pretty sure the same or better result can be achieved with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other varieties”

In the Uruguayan white wines highlights the varietal. Oak lover finally said barrel and cut between wine speaks of the wisdom and skill of the winemaker.