Pisco is the eau de vie obtained exclusively from the distillation of fresh musts of recently fermented “pisco” grapes. It is produced only from recognised production zones and uses equipment and methods that preserve the standard of traditional quality.
Pisco originated over 400 years ago in the Pisco Valley near Ica, south-west Peru. Grapes were first brought to Peru from the Canary Islands during the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. It was in the Pisco valley, a unique microclimate, where these crops thrived due to perfect weather conditions.
During the early part of the 17th century, wine production from Peru was so successful that exports to Spain began to threaten the local Iberian production. To avoid the threat of competition, King Felipe II of Spain placed a ban on trade of Peruvian wine. Consequently, coastal landowners began to increase the production of “aguardiente”, a Peruvian grape liquor that had already been in local production for some time. This grape-based liquor soon became a popular beverage among travellers to the region, particularly for its high quality characteristics. It soon gained prestige throughout the world and exports departing from the port of Pisco increased considerably. It didn’t take long before this renowned product inherited the name from where it first originated and a new drinking culture was born – Pisco.
|Types of Pisco
The grapes used to make pisco are called ‘pisco grapes’ because they have been used to make the pisco for centuries. Although they were originally brought from Spain with the purpose of making wine, the grapes adapted perfectly to the climate of the pisco-producing valleys. Pisco should only be produced exclusively using grape varieties from the species ‘vitis vinifera’, also know as ‘pisco grapes’. The grapes must be cultivated in the recognised production zones.
The list below contains the recognised types of pisco developed as a result of the ability and creativity of our Peruvian ancestors.
is the pisco obtained exclusively from one single variety of pisco grapes. It may be called “varietal pisco” or mention the variety of pisco grape from which it is produced.
Pisco (Non Aromatic):
is the pisco obtained from the distillation of fresh musts completely fermented from the blend of ‘non aromatic’ pisco grape varieties, such as Quebranta (Mission), Mollar and Black.
is the Pisco obtained from the distillation of fresh musts completely fermented from the blending of ‘aromatic’ pisco grape varieties, such as Italia, Torontel, and Albilla.
Pisco Green Must (also known as ‘mosto verde’):
is the pisco obtained from the distillation of fresh musts of pisco grapes that are only partially fermented.
is Pisco obtained from the distillation of fresh musts completely fermented, from the blend of several pisco grape varieties, aromatic or non-aromatic.