Pisco - Patrimony of Peru


The first grape stocks were brought from the Canary Islands to the Ica oases south of Lima in 1551. Local winemakers soon started making a grape brandy they shipped to other Spanish colonies from the port of Pisco that eventually gave its name to the local grape brandy. Now, outstanding quality “pisco” full of flavor, bouquet and body is made in the warm oases dotting the dry coastal desert, all along the Southwestern Pacific coast of Peru, from Lima to Tacna.


Pisco is Peru’s national drink and is made in traditional distilleries in the Mala, San Antonio, Santa Cruz de Flores, San Vicente de Cañete, Pacarán and Lunahuaná wineries south of Lima. Further south, in Ica, over 80 wineries in the Chincha, Pisco, Ica, Palpa and Nasca valleys distill outstanding pisco, as well as further south, in the Arequipa valleys of Majes, Vítor and La Joya. Closer to the southern border in Moquegua, about some 10 wineries produce not only pisco but also “mistela”, a mix of pisco and wine. Fine pisco brandy and apricot fruit brandy is typical of the 35 wineries in Tacna, in the southern end of Peru.


At several wineries visitors can stay on the premises and take part in pisco making during their stay. The grape* harvest in February and March is a truly popular celebration and February 8 is Peru’s Pisco Sour cocktail day. Pisco brandy made from “Italia” and “Quebranta” grape stocks are most popular while “acholado” blends a variety of grape stocks. All “pisco” is made 38° to 46° proof.


*“Pisco grape” types: Quebranta, black, Mollar, Uvina, and the aromatic ones: Italia, Torontel, Albilla and Moscatel.


The origin of the name Pisco is undoubtedly Peruvian as proved by a research carried out by lexicographers, chroniclers and historians. The word comes from the pre-Hispanic Quechua word meaning “bird” “(Juan de Arona, pseudonym of Pedro Paz Soldán y Unánue. Diccionario de Peruanismos, Tomo II, Ediciones Peisa, Lima 1975, page 323).


Pisco is an exclusive Peruvian denomination

Apart from being a typical traditional beverage since the Colonial period, and a symbol of national pride, it is also known in terms of international trade as denomination of origin. In accordance with the Lisbon Convention related to the protection of denominations of origin and its registry, and according to the definition established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a “denomination of origin” is the name of a country, region or place used to designate a product native of the country, which quality or features belong exclusively to the same geographical area, including its natural factors (geography, weather, raw materials, etc.) and human factors (labor, art, creativeness, tradition, etc.)


Furthermore, the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) regards that besides these elements, a denomination should have a “notoriety” or “reputation” factor. Thus, the meaning for the viniculture sector as it represents an important contributing legal factor for the economy to develop. Therefore, its main goal is the “collective promotion” guaranteeing quality, origin and, in many cases, tradition and history arisen from the intimate link between human groups and their soil of origin.



Pisco, name of the traditional drink and patrimony of Peru, is the symbol of Peruvian pride and nationality.


The Spanish conqueror of the Tahuantisuyo Empire was Francisco Pizarro. He was mean, brave, and illiterate that is to say he didn't know how to read neither to write, not even his own name. He signed with a trembling heading.


Pizarro arrived to Cajamarca on November the 15th 1532. He sent Hernando Pizarro to visit the Inca Atahualpa to his Pultumarca camp. After waiting one night and almost the whole next day, the Inca made his appearance in a bunk of gold, arriving to the center of the triangular square of Cajamarca.


Starting from that moment it took place the conquest of the great Inca Empire. The Inca Atahualpa was executed on July the 26th 1533.


Francisco Pizarro's ambition was overflowing, he was the biggest investor in the conquest of Peru. Pizarro obtained big benefits from the takeover. In 1540 he had 27,000 natives that paid him taxes; productive mines of gold in Cuquiabo and silver in Porco, houses, land, plantations, mills, livestock and slaves. Great fortune that was sent to Spain. Peru was a great business for Pizarro and his siblings. There was an agreement between the Crown and Pizarro.


He was murdered by the Almagristas on 1541 with a lunge in the throat. Later the Spanish Crown took charge of the government.



The Spaniards brought a grape liquor that with the time was elaborated in Peru.


It was named "pisco", name that has three origins: means a Quechua word that translated to English means "bird". The mud container was called "botija", where pisco was deposited. Pisco, city and name of a town that belongs to the Ica valley, correspond to a very important event. The great Independence leader José de San Martín disembark in the Paracas bay in Pisco, September 8th, 1820.


The botija was a practical container that used in the elaboration of pisco and then to transport and keep it. In the botija the grape juice was fermented and distilled. Afterwards the pisco is stored in botijas. When the botijas are empty they stowed them face down, until being used again in the next vintage.


All this shows that no other country can copy the Peruvian PISCO


Variety of Piscos

  • Pisco Quebranta: After vintage, the Quebranta grapes are crushed and pressed. Then, the grape pressing are transferred to casks where fermentation begins. Eight days later, the famous "cachina" is ready. During the third week the must is distilled in stills or alembics. The result is a unequaled Pure Peruvian Pisco, unique in the world.

  • Pisco Acholado: (Half-breed) Is the result of the distillation of Quebranta and Italia grapes. Each bottle of Pisco La Botija (750 ml) contains approximately 13 pounds of grapes.

  • Pisco Italia: Tabernero's Pisco Italia is made through a slow process using 100% distilled Italia grape juice. The result is a unique pisco with a great bouquet and an unrivaled flavor.

Tabernero has excellent vineyards are situated in the Chincha valley, in the Ica region and are cultivated using the latest techniques. This combination has granted this pisco its world famous quality. When you visit Ica or Paracas, also visit Tabernero's vineyard.



Renowned “pisco sour cocktail” one of the world’s most delicious is made by shaking 3 oz. pisco, one oz. lime juice, one oz. gum syrup, a half egg white, and four ice cubes. Sprinkle 2 or 3 drops bitter on top after pouring.


Pisco Sour

•   3 Glasses of pisco

•   1 ½ Glass of sugar

•   2 Glasses of lemon juice

•   White of an egg

•   Shaken ice

•   Add drops of Amargo Angostura



Preparation: Be prepare the PISCO SOUR only in liquidizer, put the egg white and liquefy once that up some spark add the ice until the middle of glass (this is a secret to get that the drink has a texture very heavy, slowly move it and add the ingredients; but not bitter of Angostura, liquefy until the ice be melt. If it is necessary add some ice water and rectify carefully the quality of a good PISCO SOUR.



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