Pisco and its Denomination of Origin
Rules and Regulations
Pisco and its
Denomination of Origin
Rules and Regulations
Must be made in
1 of 5 provinces (states)
in southern Peru.
+
8 specific grape
varietals.
+
Single distillation in
copper pot stills.
+
No colors, flavors, or
additives-including water
-can be used. Cannot be
aged but must rest in
non-reactive vessels.
+
Distilled to between
76-96 proof.
Pisco, which means “little bird” in Peru’s indigenous Quechua language and is also a reference
to the city and port of Pisco where the spirit is believed to have originated, is steeped in
heritage and tradition. It is one of the few spirits to have a Denomination of Origin, meaning
that it must be made in a specific region and under strict guidelines.
Pisco, which means “little bird” in Peru’s indigenous Quechua language and is also a reference to the city and port of Pisco where the spirit is believed to have originated, is steeped in heritage and tradition. It is one of the few spirits to have a Denomination of Origin, meaning that it must be made in a specific region and under strict guidelines.
Pisco Variants
Pisco puro
  • Made from one of the approved eight grape varietals.
  • Requires 6-8 lbs. of grapes per liter.
  • Tasting notes reflect the particular grape profile.
pisco acholado
  • Made from a blend of two or more of the approved eight grape varietals.
  • Requires 6-8 lbs. of
    grapes per liter.
  • Tasting notes reflect the complexity and structure of blend.
Pisco MOSTO VERDE
  • Is a style of making either a puro or an acholado in which only the must of the grapes (juice from the freshly pressed grapes) is partially fermented.
  • Requires 16-18 lbs. of
    grapes per liter.
  • Tasting notes reflect a richer and more luxurious flavor.
There are three variants of pisco: puro, or single grape expression; acholado, or blend of two
or more grapes, and mosto verde, a style of making a puro or an acholado in which the must
(or juice of the pressed grapes) is partially fermented.
There are three variants of pisco: puro, or single grape expression; acholado, or blend of two or more grapes, and mosto verde, a style of making a puro or an acholado in which the must (or juice of the pressed grapes) is partially fermented.
Grape Varietals
the aromatic
grapes
  • Italia
  • Albilla
  • Torontel
  • Moscatel
the non-aromatic
grapes
  • Quebranta
  • Negra Criolla
  • Uvina
  • Mollar
All piscos must be crafted with one or a blend of the allowed eight grape varietals. The eight
grapes are divided into aromatics and non-aromatic varietals. Aromatics contain a high
concentration of fragrant compounds in their skins called terpenes, while non-aromatics
contain low levels. Each varietal adds its own unique flavor and aroma to pisco.
All piscos must be crafted with one or a blend of the allowed eight grape varietals. The eight grapes are divided into aromatics and non-aromatic varietals. Aromatics contain a high concentration of fragrant compounds in their skins called terpenes, while non-aromatics contain low levels. Each varietal adds its own unique flavor and aroma to pisco.
How Geography and Soil of the
Ica Valley Affect the Grapes
How Geography
and Soil of the Ica Valley
Affect the Grapes
To The West
To The West
The Humbolt Current, a cold, low-salinity current runs through the ocean and provides a cooling influence on the climate and blocks precipitation.
To The east
To The east
The Andes mountains block the flow of clouds from the jungle regions.
desert microclimate
desert microclimate
There is less than an inch of rainfall per year and 365 days of sun. The days are hot (average 84ºF) and nights are cool (average 68ºF)
soil quality
soil quality
The soil is franco arenoso or sandy loam that stays warm and very dry. Its high salinity allows the grapes to grow deep roots.
Exceptional grapes
Exceptional grapes
The geography and soil conditions work in tandem to create excellent pisco grapes that are high in sugar and natural acids, ensuring the highest flavor and aroma. Their degree of Brix, a measure of sugar, is 23 (table grapes are less than 20). With little rain to wash off the naturally occurring yeast that grows on the skin, the grapes are able to ferment naturally.
Terroir:
Noun; pr: ter’ wär; French; land, from medieval Latin terratorium The complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.
Terroir plays a critical role in pisco production, and it is the synergy of climate, location, geography, and soil that creates the quality and uniqueness of every pisco. While it encompasses the land and geography, the producer’s skills also play a critical role in everything from choosing correct rootstocks, configuring and orienting plants, correctly trellising the vines, pruning them, managing the canopy, controlling pests, and picking and making the product. The Ica Valley, where Hacienda La Caravedo is located and one of the regions designated for pisco production, is uniquely suited to growing some of the finest and highest quality pisco grapes.
Hacienda La Caravedo
Production and Technique
A Techno-Artisanal Distillery
At Hacienda La Caravedo, we take great pride in producing the finest Peruvian piscos and honoring both the land and tradition. We craft our pisco with estate-owned grapes in a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to environmental stewardship, and we employ traditional techniques that honor centuries of artisanal craftsmanship.
Our Master Distiller, Johnny Schuler, is the foremost pisco expert in the world and a recipient of Peru’s Congressional Medal of Honor for his work to promote pisco and uphold Peruvian culture and tradition. His artistry and deep experience create unique piscos that are versatile, mixable and the finest expression of their Andean terroir.
Production at a Glance
Fermentation Tanks
  • Number of tanks: 43
  • Capacity: 20,000 - 30,000 liters each
  • Material: stainless steel
  • Duration: 5-14 days to ferment
Pot Stills
Traditional falcas over 100 years old
  • Number of falcas: 3
  • Capacity: 1,300 liters per falca
  • Material: 100% copper
  • Duration: one distillation
Pot Stills
  • Number of stills: 6
  • Capacity: 2,000 – 3,500 liters per still
  • Material: 100% copper
  • Duration: one distillation
cubas de guardia
(resting tanks)
  • Number of cubas de guardia: 24
  • Capacity: 40,000 liters each
  • Material: Glass-lined concrete
  • Duration: 6 months to 1 year
Hacienda La Caravedo comprises approximately 80 hectares of estate-owned vineyards that provide the grapes used to make our piscos. It is also positioned on a dry riverbed, providing the best soil for growing grapes. We control the pisco making process at every step–from vine to bottle–and ensure the highest quality in each batch.
Because of our location in the Southern Hemisphere, Peru’s seasonality is the opposite of that of North American. The harvest, including a special festival called Vendimia, occurs in March. The harvest is a time-honored ritual and all our grapes are gently picked by hand to preserve their quality.
After the harvest, the vines recover and are pruned starting in June, ensuring their vigor, vitality, and continuing the cycle of pisco production.
Picking, Pressing, and Fermenting
Hacienda La Caravedo sits on a dried riverbed, providing the best soil for growing grapes. All our grapes are estate-grown and in fields uniquely suited to each varietal. We maintain full quality control from vine to bottle.
Grapes exceed traditional degree Brix (measure of sugar content) and are +25. All grapes are gently harvested by hand to preserve quality, flavor and aroma.
The grapes are pressed to extract the juice, or must. The skins and seeds are collected and pressed again to remove any additional must. A traditional wooden press called a usillo is often used at this stage. The must is collected in a tank called a puntaya and macerates for 24 hours.
The must flows through the force of gravity from the puntaya to the fermentation tanks. Natural yeast converts the sugar from the must into alcohol in a process that takes 5 to 14 days, depending on the style of pisco. Our Mosto Verde takes 5 – 7 days to ferment.
After the harvest, the grapes are gently pressed, fermented, distilled, rested and bottled. At Hacienda La Caravedo, we use the flow of gravity to move the must (the juice of the grape) from the pressing stage through its resting period in order to ensure the gentlest treatment of the pisco. This preserves its natural flavor and aroma and ensures our piscos are uniquely authentic.
Our distillery is “techno-artisanal”, meaning that we combine traditional and state-of-the-art processes to craft piscos in the finest expression of their Andean terroir.
Distilling, Resting, Bottling
Hacienda La Caravedo sits on a dried riverbed, providing the best soil for growing grapes. All our grapes are estate-grown and in fields uniquely suited to each varietal. We maintain full quality control from vine to bottle.
The distillation is rested in non-reactive containers called cubas de guarda to allow the flavor and aroma to fully evolve. Our cubas de guardia are glass-lined concrete containers and we rest our pisco for 6 months to a year. After the resting period, pisco was traditionally stored in clay botijas, or stackable jars.
Our piscos are then bottled and enjoyed in countries all over the world. We are the #1 exported pisco from Peru to the United States.
Distillation is the critical step that turns wine into pisco. At Hacienda La Caravedo, we use both the original falcas and French and German-made pot stills. Under the law, we use 100% copper stills and distill only once, always to proof. Meaning that no water is added to the final product. Our Caravedo Mosto Verde and is distilled to 86 proof. The other Caravedo expressions are distilled to 80 proof.
During the resting cycle, the pisco evolves its flavors and aromas in a non-reactive container. Our Caravedo Mosto Verde rests for a minimum of a year before being bottled, while the rest of the expressions are rested for six months.
The secret is in the details
1.
HARVEST
In Peru we call this “vendimia.”  This is the time of year, generally late February to early April, when we go into our vineyards to hand pick our estate-grown grapes that will soon become pisco.
2.
DESTEMMING
Upon arrival at the scale each grape is carefully evaluated to ensure it meets our quality standards and all pomace (leaves and stems) are removed before the grapes are crushed.
3.
CRUSHING
The pneumatic press crusher breaks the grape globes with great care so that the juice runs free of the flesh, but the bitter seeds inside remain whole and don’t add unwanted flavor.
4.
MACERATION
During the maceration stage the crushed grapes fill tanks and gravity goes to work, ensuring we get the optimum extraction of all coloring, aromatics and structural elements of the grapes that should be present in the must.
5.
FERMENTATION
While sitting in tanks clad with cooling jackets to adequately control this step of the process the must is attacked by natural yeasts, causing the conversion of sugars into alcohol. This conversion results in fresh wine, which is then taken to the stills for distillation.
6.
DISTILLATION
The wine is heated to a boiling point in which the liquid evaporates into a vapor. The vapor is then cooled by passing through pipes at a lower temperature. The vapor then condenses back into a liquid. Pisco is born!
7.
RESTING TANKS
Our guardias (resting tanks) are built of concrete and Iined with fully inert materials so nothing disturbs the perfect beauty of our pisco. In the guardias, the pisco rests in complete peace for a year before it is bottled.
8.
BOTTLING ROOM
Our automated multi-functional bottling line enables us to fill 2000 bottles per hour. First the bottles are washed with pisco, then filled and capped before passing through quality control. Once inspected and cleared, they are labelled and sealed.
9.
TASTING ROOM
The tasting room features soundproof panels so that no ambient noise disturbs your concentration as you taste through our award-winning spirits. Lighting, neutral color decor and optimal room temperature have also been considered to enable guests to fully appreciate the unique qualities of our various piscos.
10.
ANALYSIS LABORATORY
Our analysis lab uses extensive measuring equipment calibrated and certified for precise control of the process. At each step of the way- from the raw material to the ready-to-market product- our lab takes and tests samples.