Embark on a journey of taste and terroir with our ‘Regional Styles – Peru’ section.  Welcome to the captivating world of Peruvian wine, where the Pacific Ocean’s cool breezes meet the fertile soils of the Andean foothills. Peru, a country renowned for its rich history and diverse landscapes, is also home to a vibrant wine culture that is as unique as it is flavorful. From the bustling city of Lima to the sun-drenched vineyards of Ica, each wine region in Peru tells a story of tradition, innovation, and the enduring spirit of winemaking. As we journey through these regions, we’ll discover the distinctive grape varieties that thrive in Peru’s varied climates, the centuries-old art of Pisco production, and the exciting emergence of artisanal wines. So, pour yourself a glass and join us as we delve into the fascinating world of Peruvian wine.

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Exploring the Vibrant Vineyards of Peru:  A Journey Through the Land of Pisco and Beyond

Peru’s winemaking history dates back to the Spanish colonization in the 16th century. The country shares a similar climate with Chile, which is favorable for producing wine. In 2008, Peru had about 14,000 hectares of grape plantations, including table grapes, and produced around 610,000 hectolitres of wine. The majority of vineyards are located on the central coast, around Pisco and Ica, where most of Peru’s winemaking and distillation takes place.

Peru cultivates a variety of grapes including Albillo, Alicante Bouschet, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Moscatel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Torontel. The first grapevines were brought to Peru shortly after its conquest by Spain. The largest and most prominent vineyards of the 16th and 17th century Americas were established in the Ica valley of south-central Peru. The growth of mining in Potosí, which became the largest city in the Americas in the 17th century, created a constant demand for wine which was supplied mainly from Peru.

However, the 1687 Peru earthquake, which destroyed the cities of Villa de Pisco and Ica, marked the end of the Peruvian wine boom. The suppression of the Society of Jesus in Spanish America in 1767 caused the Jesuit vineyards in Peru to be auctioned at high prices but new owners did not have the same expertise as the Jesuits contributing to a production decline. The decline of Peruvian wine even caused Peru to import some wine from Chile as it happened in 1795 when Lima imported 5,000 troves from Concepción in southern Chile. This particular export showed the emergence of Chile relative to Peru as a wine-making region.

During the 19th century, Peruvian wine-making went further into decline. Demand in industrialized Europe caused many Peruvian winegrowers to shift their land use from vineyards to lucrative cotton fields, contributing further to the decline of the wine and pisco industry. This was particularly true during the time of the American Civil War (1861–1865) when cotton prices skyrocketed due to the Blockade of the South and its cotton fields.

The 5 Regions  of Peru

Peru’s vineyards are primarily located along the coast, stretching south from Lima. The lower-altitude, coastal regions of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua, and Tacna have provided an ideal climate for Pisco production over the past four centuries. Here are some details about each region:

  • Lima: As the capital city of Peru, Lima is not only a cultural hub but also a significant wine region. The coastal climate and fertile soils make it suitable for growing a variety of grapes.
  • Ica: Ica is the most important and concentrated wine region in Peru. It’s known for its diverse range of international grape varieties. In addition to Pisco, there is a growing trend toward making artisanal, dry wines from Criolla varieties in this region.
  • Arequipa: Located in the southern part of the country, Arequipa is known for its unique wines. The region’s high altitude and volcanic soil contribute to the distinct flavor profiles of its wines.
  • Moquegua: This region is known for its Pisco production. The warm climate and fertile soils here are ideal for growing the grapes used in Pisco.
  • Tacna: The southernmost wine region in Peru, Tacna is known for its high-quality wines and Piscos. The region’s sunny climate and fertile soils provide excellent conditions for grape cultivation.

The traditional Pisco and Criolla varieties dominate in these regions, with Quebranta, Mollar, Albilla, Negra Criolla, and Moscatel being the top varieties planted throughout Peru’s wine regions. These varieties are largely made into Pisco, but there is also an exciting and growing tendency towards making artisanal, dry wines from Criolla varieties.

 

Latest Wine Tasting Notes:  In Peru

PERU

Regional Styles: Peru Embark on a journey of taste and terroir with our ‘Regional Styles – Peru’ section.  Welcome to the captivating world of Peruvian wine, where the Pacific Ocean’s cool breezes meet the fertile soils of the Andean foothills. Peru, a country renowned for its rich history and diverse landscapes,

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NOTE: We’re in the process of refreshing our wine-tasting notes from the past five years. Keep an eye out for these updated insights – they’ll be available soon!

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