Pisco

The one and only Pisco

Pisco, seductive aroma and enchanting flavor

Pisco's fragrance is Peru’s perfume, and the flavor of each sip is its pride.

The emblematic drink traces its origins to the province that bears the same name, where the eight types of “pisco grapes” are harvested, each with its own distinctive fragrance.

The pisco-making process hearkens back to the traditions of the first makers of this brandy back in the late 16th century.

The sole ingredient is fresh grape must, which keeps this spirit as pure as possible.

These characteristics make pisco an emblematic product and a source of national pride: Peru’s gift to the world.

A tradition is born

The province of Pisco lies on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, 143 miles south of Peru’s capital. It was here that the first grapevines were planted more than 450 years ago, their roots sinking deep into the fertile soils of the new continent. Illustrating its ancestral heritage, the city owes its name to the pre-Columbian civilization that settled in the same valley a millennium before and used the word pisku to describe the birds nesting along the canyon walls. Over the centuries, that word– which morphed into the name Pisco– became attached to the city, the river, the port and the province.

Though no one knows exactly when the name pisco was first applied to the distillate, documents from the end of the 16th century describing the first vintages already use this term. This type of brandy is also produced in the valleys of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna.

The versatility of pisco’s eight strains

Pisco's variety is another of its tantalizing traits. The flavor and aroma of eight distinctive types of grapes delight the palate. The Peruvian spirit can fall into one of three categories: Puro, Acholado and Mosto Verde.

Puros [pure piscos]: a rainbow of flavors

Made from a single variety of grapes, such as Quebranta, which imbues the pisco with its one-of-a-kind banana, apple, pecan and blackcurrant notes, or the Mollar variety, with its bouquet of fresh herbs and honey; Negra Criolla, with its hints of chocolate, peach and lime; Uvina, with its olive-like tone; Italia, which brings together seductive aromas of lime, honey and white currants; Torontel, with enticing undertones of jasmine, orange blossom and mandarin orange; Muscatel and its heady fragrance of peach, vanilla and roses; and Albilla, with its startling refined flavor of peach and apple with pecan and vanilla notes.

Acholados [blended piscos]: the character of fusion

The sublime product of blending two or more varieties of pisco grapes. This subtle intermingling engenders a splendid palette of aromas and flavors. Blends can be made between pisco grapes, pisco grape musts, fresh fermented pisco grape musts and between piscos made from pisco grapes.

Mosto Verde [green must piscos]: the origin of flavor

These piscos are made from pisco grapes whose musts have not yet finished fermenting, yielding a spirit with a more intense perfume and retaining the most refined properties of each grape.

Tips from the experts

To fully appreciate pisco’s qualities, connoisseurs advise tasters to use the correct glass: the pisco glass. Its tulip shaped-design accentuates the perfume wafting up from the pisco once it is served and enhances the spirit’s first contact with the palate, where the sense of taste explores the generous spirit that goes into the making of pisco.

Dates celebrating pisco

“Pisco Sour Day:” First Saturday in February.
“Pisco Day:” Fourth Sunday in July.

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Awards
Years International Competitions Awards
2007 Vinandino – Argentina Gold, silver
2007, 2010 Challenge Internacional du vin – France Gold, silver, bronze
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles Gold, silver, Grand Gold medal
2007, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016 Citadelles du Vin– France Gold, bronze, silver
2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 Vinalies Internationales– France Gold, silver
2009, 2013, 2015 Challenge Internacional du vin – France Silver, bronze, gold
2010, 2013 Wine & Spirit Competition – England Silver, bronze, silver with distinction
2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 CINVE– Spain Grand prize, Grand Gold medal, FIJEV Prize, Grand Gold, Grand CINVE (spirits), gold, silver
2012 Chairman’s Trophy Ultimate Spirits Challenge - United States First in category
2013 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles of Chile Grand Gold, gold, silver
2014 Spirits Selection Brazil (Concours Mondial de Bruxelles) Grand Gold medal, gold, silver
2014 La Mujer Elige - Argentina (Mendoza) Winner of spirits category, gold, double gold
2014, 2015 Selections Mondiales des Spiritueux - Canada Gold, silver
2014, 2015, 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition - United States Gold, silver, bronze, double gold
2015 Spirits Selection China (Concours Mondial de Bruxelles) Silver, gold, Grand gold
2015 New York Spirits Competition Silver, bronze
2015, 2016 Terravino - Israel Double gold, gold, silver
2016 Spirits Selection Mexico (Concours Mondial de Bruxelles) Grand Gold medal, gold, silver
2016, 2017 China Wine & Spirits Awards Double gold, gold