lunes, 20 de enero de 2014

In the land of Pisco... Notes on the History of Wine and Pisco from Arequipa

Pisco / Peru more tan 400 years of History & Tradition (1613 -2013).
By Alejandro Málaga Núñez-Zeballos Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa Academia Peruana del Pisco Pachamama Andean Tourist Review Translate by Katrina Heimark Among the notary protocols that the Regional Archive of Arequipa posses, there are those protocols developed by the public scribe Gaspar Hernández Mariño, whose first writing dates from 1550 and his last from 1585. It amounts to a document-rich history of 19 codices that have suffered from the severity of time and the theft of some folios of particular interest. Currently they are held in an adequate location and at the service of research. From these writings, I include some singular extracts. October 8, 1565. Merchant Mateo Sánchez, foreigner, owed to ex-mayor Juan de la Torre, the amount of 1879 pesos and 4 silver tomines of 4 pesos. The mark without quintars for use for 756 bottles of Pitay wine, of which 400 bottles were priced 4 silver pesos and 356 and the quintals of raisons were priced 6.5 pesos for each quintal. In 1568, Diego Hernández de la Cuba, neighbor of the city, sold to Alonso Nuñez, Presbyterian clergyman, his entire wine harvest from the land of the vine Lluculla, at the price of 3 common silver pesos per bottle. It was promised “a boca de tinaja” in the month of August. Alonso Núñez had to find the earthenware jugs (tinajas) in order to take the wine. That same year, Juan del Salto, resident of the city, received from Juan de Quiróz Vélez 101 bottles of wine from the earth that cost 505 pesos, 20 bottles of wine from Castilla at 10 pesos, 200 pesos; 5 bottles of vinegar, at 6 pesos each. In 1569, there is a writing of a contract between Diego García Serrano and Bartolomé López, residents of the city. Bartolomé López chartered to Diego García Serrano 250 bottles of White wine from Castilla that he had in the city, and they were transported in “carneros” of the earth to Cusco. They left on August 25 and in the lapse of 40 to 45 days they arrived at their destination. For the same destination, Isidro López sold to Pedro Gonzáles 150 bottles of wine in stock of the harvest from his land of the Pitay de Juan de la Torre. Placed in the Pitay bodega, the price of each bottle of wine in stock was 2 and a half pesos of common silver. That year, Mrs. Juana Muñiz, neighbor of Arequipa, made a contract for 5 years with the councilor of the Town Council, don Diego Cornejo, in order to produce on a piece of land with grapes in the valley of Vítor, purchasing and planting 50,000 grape vines. This is the oldest date that indicates that a woman was active in this area. elpiscoesdelperu

miércoles, 1 de enero de 2014

In Land of Pisco... Pisco loving "Celebrating two Pisco-Loving Cocktails: the Chilcano and the Pisco Sour "

Pisco / Peru more tan 400 years of History & Tradition (1613-2013). Written by: Martina Negrón Mendoza Translate by Katrina Heimark Over the past few years, thousands of Peruvian palates have added themselves to the homage that is in honor of two delicious cocktails based upon our grape brandy: the Chilcano and the Pisco Sour. The assigned dates for the savoring of these cocktails have been placed on the National Calendar for 2011 as “Chilcano Week,” which was celebrated from January 11 to 17, and more than 200 companies, among them restaurants, bars, and hotels in Lima and all over Peru, hand in hand with consumers, made this drink more popular, especially among young people. On the other hand, every second Saturday in February, starting in 2004, is the national day of Pisco Sour, a drink which has formed part of our national identity. Marisa Guiulfo, the “queen” of the most highly requested events and banquets of Lima, commented that the majority of weddings have left behind the classic toast with champagne and now prefer to do so with our prized Pisco Sour, and on the principal tables, they ask her to exhibit Peru’s immense variety of piscos. Both dates were instituted with the purpose to position these drinks in an important place in our cuisine, and, of course, increase the consumption of our Peruvian spirit. Interestingly enough, these dates were proposed by men and women of the press, who realized that other countries celebrated their national drinks in this way, and that here, only Inca Kola, a drink for the entire family, was marketed in this way. While this isn’t exactly bad, we unfortunately had forgotten a worthy, original distilled beverage, called Pisco, which is used to make exquisite cocktails. The woman behind Pisco Sour Day was reporter Virginia Rey-Sanchez, who, when she found out that Chile was going to celebrate the day of “Piscola,” began a campaign via email (this was before the days of Facebook), so that Peru would celebrate something similar. This was in February of 2003. Rey-Sanchez met with publicist Gustavo Rodriguez and with her colleague Raul Vargas in order to continue to promote the idea. An interview took place on RPP (Radio Programs of Peru) and through the use of Rodriguez’ publicity posters, they began, as a citizen’s initiative, Pisco Sour Day. The rest of the story you already know.
In the case of the Chilcano, although it isn’t a cocktail like the Pisco Sour is, and it belongs to the Highball family, the idea of having a date to celebrate it began in 2010 with the initiative of specialized gourmet reporter Manuel Cadenas Mujica, who along with a group of Pisco lovers, brought about “Chilcano Week.” Its success is due to the fact that drinking a Chilcano is the closest form to tasting a good Peruvian Pisco, as it doesn’t have lime juice or egg whites, which change the flavor. Also, the Chilcano goes very well with long get-togethers, and doesn’t wreck havoc on the system. Experts affirm that it is an elegant, simple, and refreshing drink. This initiative brought with it other ideas, such as the first Pisco Guide of Peru, where more than 125 bodegas were visited in 2006, the first TV program “Pure Pisco,” which later encouraged other Pisco lovers, such as Johnny Schuller, to create new forms for our grape brandy and increase the number of fans, and I hope that there are more activities that will be added to the promotion of our cocktails and of Peruvian Pisco—such as this magazine, which has bowed at the feet of our Pisco for a long time. In the face of commercial success, first with the Pisco Sour and then the Chilcano (the internal consumption of the national drink increased by some 18.25%, and Chilcano sales increased 1000% in comparison with the previous year), bartenders and restaurateurs began to work with fusion in order to offer their clientele an increased quantity of options for their Sours and their Chilcanos. However, the news was taken with a grain of salt by Pisco lovers who prefer to maintain the cocktails’ classic recipe in the first place, and, suggested that the new combinations include a change in name because they may confuse the client, especially foreigners who should first try the Pisco Sour or the Chilcano before any other variety. Sommelier and Pisco Taster Lucero Villagarcia suggests that if different locales want to offer a variety of drinks, they should do so by using different types of Pisco…”the Chilcano has other virtues: it is the only cocktail in which all the Pisco varieties (and other Pisco by-products, such as “macerados” or fruits soaked in Pisco) are shown off and expressed in a clear and rotund manner, and is the only which allows us to quickly distinguish the quality of the Pisco used. Pisco is undressed in the Chilcano.”
The Spread of Pisco In 2010 Peru reached first place in exports of Pisco around the world, and this caused more Pisco producers to improve their production process, and the quality of the fire-water, as well as their concern to reach all markets of Peru and the world. Now they have governmental support in their different projects. But also they realized that the first group that must be conquered is the Peruvian palate, and there is nothing better than a Peruvian, proud of their products, to bring good news to the rest of the world. In this sense, the best way to become known among people is through cocktails, as in its pure state, Pisco runs the risk of not being fully appreciated. Because of this, all of the celebrations of the Pisco Sour and the Chilcano should be positioned in the heart of every restaurant, bar, hotel and Peruvian household. A good idea that was shared with us by Pisco cultural promoter Roberto Samame is that in every family reunion, or social gathering, enthusiasm for Pisco and its preparation should be encouraged. For example, there should be competitions to discern who in the family makes the best Pisco Sour, or the best Chilcano, or which type of Pisco makes the drink taste better, or even create a private collection of Pisco from different provinces. For example, if someone goes to Moquegua, Tacna, Ica, Arequipa or Lima, they could get a bottle and/or try their version of Pisco. Each is different, depending on the soils, the climate, etc, and there are as many grape varieties as there are climates. In this way, we can begin to form a true culture of Pisco and its national drinks. The path has been laid out. Now what we have to do is continue to promote in a creative manner Pisco and its cocktails, while always respecting tradition, and spreading by word of mouth, especially to young people, the virtues of the powerful Peruvian Pisco which is beginning to conquer the world. elpiscoesdelperu