Origin of Pisco

Peru is the cradle of pisco, there is no doubt about that. This brandy obtained exclusively from the distillation of fresh must of pisqueras grapes, is a product elaborated within the Peruvian territory, on the coast of the departments of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and the valleys of Locumba, Sama and Caplina in the department of Tacna. In January 1991, this long coastal strip of fertile valleys was officially recognized by the Peruvian government as a designation of origin. The standard states that products obtained by distilling must derived from the fermentation of fresh grapes shall be called’pisco’ only and exclusively in the coastal valleys of the Pisco regions. This means that any grape spirit prepared outside these territories, even if it is produced within the country, cannot be called’pisco’. Much less if the product is made outside Peruvian territory. Not even the pisco itself.


It’s like a proper name: nobody else can use it but you. At the technical level, this is a qualification used to legally protect certain products made in a given area. This prevents other producers from taking advantage of the good name that the originals have created, in a long time of manufacture or cultivation. That is to say, the product is protected, like one’s good name. The appellation of origin in Peru is granted by the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI), created in 1992. This entity requires producers to submit samples of their pisco production to certification laboratories for analysis to determine if they comply with the requirements established in the technical standard. After all, the appellation of origin guarantees the consumer that the pisco he is buying and consuming has a certified quality. To produce pisco, only grapes such as quebranta, black Creole, mollar, italy, muscatel, albilla, torontel and uvina can be used. In the case of grapevines, the designation of origin is limited to the districts of Lunahuaná, Pacarán and Zúñiga, in the province of Cañete, Lima region. In all cases, pisco is called’pure pisco’ followed by the name of the grape used. If a mixture of grapes is used, it is called “pisco acholado”. Must from a single grape variety whose fermentation is interrupted is called’green pisco must’.

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