There is a wide range of wine and Pisco on offer in Peru … and you will try lots of it on our tour! Below are some of the main products of the wineries you will be visiting and a little on the history of each:
The Queirolo family came over from Italy in the 1880s and settled in Pueblo Libre, a then rural area on the edge of Lima. Santiago Queirolo set up a tavern which is still in business and belongs to the family to this day.
Back then, Santiago produced Pisco from land he bought near Cañete, south of Lima, and sold it in the tavern. Today, the tavern is right in the middle of the huge urban sprawl of the metropolis, but still retains its old-fashioned character. You will have a chance to visit it during the trip.
The current members of the Queirolo family have vastly expanded their vineyards and the production facility for their wine and Pisco, over recent years, to become a major force in the Peruvian wine industry.
Their flagship wine is the Intipalka line which is proving to be a real hit nationally and in a few select countries to where it is exported. Intipalka means “Sunny Valley” in the Inca language Quechua, or as you see on the bottle, “Valle del Sol” in Spanish.
Apart from the Tannat in the review, in reds they produce Malbec, Shiraz, Syrah, Petit Verdot and a number of blends of these.
In whites we find Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay un-oaked. The line of reds comes with more variety and we can find an un-oaked line, a Reserva of six months in oak; and the newest presentation, Gran Reserva No.1 which has been oaked for two years.
La Caravedo – Pisco Porton
Pisco Porton is crafted by hand, in small batches, using traditional distilling techniques (but now very modern equipment), resulting in the finest expression of Pisco, Peru’s national spirit. Distilled entirely from grapes and completely unaltered without even the addition of water, Porton is a mixable and versatile white spirit dedicated to honoring the spirit of tradition, craft, and adventure.
The winery itself is a nice mixture between the original, traditional equipment and buildings with a modern contrast.
You may be a Pisco aficionado and drink it straight to appreciate the taste and quality fully, but there are also some great cocktails to be made, including the national pride of Peru – the Pisco Sour. Click here to see a great list of cocktails
This is a slightly more rustic winery which, since it was founded in 1857 by the Picasso Brothers from Italy, has been producing a range of wine and Pisco.
The range of grapes grown in the Vista Alegre vineyards include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Tempranillo, Chenin, Pedro Jimenez and Torontel. The flagship product for Vista Alegre is their Picasso line, both in wines and Piscos. You will be able to try them, of course.
A wine which has traditionally been very popular among Peruvians is Borgoña. Borgoña has supposedly nothing to do with Burgundy in France, although that is what the name means. It is in fact a sweet wine.
Over the last 10 years or s,o the Peruvian middle classes have moved away from this sweet wine as their palates become more educated and they have a wider choice in restaurants and supermarkets. This wine often comes in huge bottles so that parties can rumble on and on! Other quirky drinks include “semi-dry” red wines such as Dos Mundos which are meant to be served chilled.
This is a slightly bizarre place, but well worth a visit. You will see how artisanal Pisco is produced, and maybe even get a chance to tread the grapes, if you visit in season. You will see the old presses and stills here and the range of Pisco and its derivatives is extensive.
There are some very weird and funny bottle shapes and presentations that you might want to take home. Check out the photo of the eloquently named mata-suegras or ‘mother-in-law killers’! There is a pisco bottle inside the leather pistol.
Oh, and how they let you taste: they want you to be drunk so you buy more, of course!
Not far from the Queirolo vineyards, you will find another big player in the local market. Tacama focuses on growing Tannat, Malbec and Petit Verdot and has various brand names where these three grapes are presented.
The Don Manuel brand is a robust Tannat that has spent eight months in French oak; and Terroix is a very nice Malbec – Tannat blend. The Sinfonia label offers a triple blend of the three grapes mentioned and the Quantum label gives you a Petit Verdot reserva.
Tacama also has its flagship Pisco label called Demonio de los Andes – essentially the ‘Andean Devil’. Tacama’s Pisco comes from the Quebranta and Albilla grapes, plus the blended preparation Acholado.
Taberno is based away from the majority of the wineries, in the slightly crazy little town of Chincha. This is the last place you have chance to visit on your tour with us as we do it on the way back to Lima.
The company was founded in 1897 by the Taboada family, and has grown to own over 400 hectares of vineyards and have a capacity of around million liters of storage.
The winery produces a very wide range of products from port and Pisco, through sweet and semi-sweet wines and sparkling wines, to the reds and whites that are becoming more and more popular. They also produce ready to drink Sangria in tetra-paks, ideal for a summer picnic!
The Gran Tinto is a bottle you will find in every supermarket and corner store in Peru. This Malbec – Merlot blend has been aged for four months in oak. Other grapes grown by Tabernero include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. There is the ubiquitous Borgoña , a few Rose varieties plus Tabernero-branded Pisco of various types.
There will of course be other products we have not listed – you just need to get down here and try them!