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How Pisco is Made - From Grape to Spirit

Pisco Grapes Peruvian VineyardsGood grapes, when properly cared for in the field, can produce a high-end premium Pisco. The process of making this distilled beverage requires care, but above all, a huge dose of passion and honesty.

Beatriz Hatta, an engineer/specialist in the food industry, says Pisco is produced 365 days a year.  This requires tireless work beginning with the first buds of the Pisco grapes in the field. Once they reached their maturity and optimum level of sugar and acidity, cluster by cluster each will be harvested between February and March.

What follows is transportation, which must be fast and delivered using special containers to prevent the grapes from being crushed and early fermentation. At the end of this journey the grapes come to the warehouse to pass through the crusher machines where first the stalks of grain is separated and then the juice is extracted, getting a fresh must.

Pisco distillerThis must be carried in stainless steel tanks or cement-waterproofed jars, according to the system used by each producer. Then begins the miraculous process of fermentation, when the grape sugar is converted into alcohol and carbonic anhydride (gas); that is, when the fresh must becomes wine. It is important to note that at this stage there should be a strict control of the temperature, which must be kept below 30 C to prevent must damage by contamination with acetic bacterias; or formed in excess that can alter the aroma and flavor of Pisco, and may also be toxic when they exceed certain levels, as higher alcohols acetaldehyde and methanol.

This wine, rich in aromas and flavors, is distilled in a simple still. It will boil and the vapor will rise and pass through the coil or canon. The coil or canon are in a pool with cold water to cool the steam. The steam cools and becomes Pisco. It is very significant at this time in the process that the distillers be extremely careful with cuts.

According to the regulations of the Designation of Origin Pisco, this can have a minimum 38 GL and at most 48 GL However, the vast majority of Pisco is approximately 42 GL. Finally, Pisco must have a minimum rest of three months before being bottled so that it can produce the chemical equilibrium.
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