An intro to Pisco.
What is Pisco?
"If it's made out of grapes, is it wine? Must be, right?" Well no, pisco is much more complex and unique than that. Bear with us, it's worth it!
The origins of pisco go all the way back to the 17th century, when Peruvians begun distilling fermented grape juice into a high-proof colorless spirit that would later become the country's national liquor. Before this came to be, Peru had been producing wine that was being exported and thus, become a threat to Spanish mercantilist policies. The Spanish Crown was not too happy about this; they banned new vineyards in the area and forbade exportation of Peruvian wine. So, Peruvians did as Peruvians do: work with what they've got —can't produce or export wine? Well then, lets turn this into something that we are allowed to share with the world!
And alas! Pisco was born (to keep it simple): distilling wine using only hand-forged copper pot stills, never diluting it with water, and using an approximate 8 kg of the best grapes per bottle. Unlike many other spirits, production of pisco remains artisanal in Peru, and is bottled directly after aging without adding any product, after all, its already so good -why alter it?
But don't take our word for it! Try it yourself!
Want to learn even more?
For instance, What's the name all about? Pisco comes from the indigenous Quechua language, and means "bird". It's also the name of the port from where pisco was first exported from, and the name of one of Peru's regions.
So, Is it really that great? Well, YES It's also a Denomination of Origin, which basically means it must be made in a particular region and under very detailed and strict guidelines. In Peru, it can essentially only be made in distilleries along the southern coast, in small batches and left unaltered, resulting in a truly spectacular product.