lunes, 22 de septiembre de 2014

In the land of Pisco... Letters to the Editor

Translate by Katrina Heimark

1.-Sirs at Elpiscoesdelperu:
We would like to know how to import Pisco and Peruvian wine to the  United States. We live in the State of Virginia.
Lucio Dueñas
Tel: 703-825-1681

2.- Hi! I’ve just finished writing a book on Pisco titled “Pisco in its birthplace” (Pisco en su cuna in Spanish). I would like to advertize it on your website.
Luis Felipe Hernández

3.-This letter is to send you my greetings and at the same time ask how I can offer my products to various companies in the wine sector.
Comercial Era
Luis C. Díaz Espinoza

4.-Congratulations on your effort of spreading the word about Pisco. Where is your office in Lima so I can purchase copies of your magazine?
Ing. Julio Cesar Pizzali Graus

5.- Good afternoon. My name is Walter, I’ve tried to contact you from Ayacucho. I’m writing to request information about companies that provide equipment for the production of wines and Pisco. I ask because in the city of Ayacucho, the Universidad Nacional de San Cristobal de Huamanga and the Department of Agricultural Sciences, which has had for several decades a vineyard and systems for the production of wine which are in very primitive conditions, would like to improve their equipment, machinery and materials in order to optimize their operation. I ask you to please give me the contact information of these companies and suppliers of vine seedlings for the following varieties:
-Common black grape
-White Italia

We are thinking of planting a minimum of 20 hectares for a vineyard.
We also need:

Five stainless steel fermentation chambers, 05 M³
20 250 liter pipes
Transfer pump
Other equipment that may be necessary for the production process.
At the moment I can’t think of other materials that would be necessary, as I am not a specialist in this area, so I ask you for your help in this matter.
Walter F. Huayllaccahua Velásquez

6.-Hi! I’m from Ica and I live in Los Angeles, USA and I love a good Pisco!
Gustavo Cabrera 
7.- Sirs. I would like to know if in Lima there are 20 liter barrels of good quality Pisco, and if you could give me an address. Or will I have to travel to Chincha or Pisco to get them?
Pablo Fernández Sánchez

8.- Hi! You’re effort is very important to me, and I would love to learn more about Pisco!

9.-I’m interested in subscribing to the free e-magazine. I enjoy the way it is presented. I am convinced that Peruvians should become united in the campaign to publicize the qualities and benefits of our Pisco! I reside in Barcelona, and just recently Pisco has become available through a few importers, but there are no publicity campaigns for Peruvian Pisco. I would like to work on this, and hope you can contact me.

10.-Good morning. We are pleased to contact you and present our company FONDO DE PROMOCIÓN DEL PISCO S.A.C. - FONPROPISCO, made up of Peruvian capital, which was born out of the mission to give every Peruvian a “Pisco-loving heart.” We hope to one day be an institution that serves the Pisco producing sector of Peru, where producers can find quick and dynamic solutions to their needs, and achieve continual growth.

The idea for this company arose out of the experience we have had during more than 20 years of Pisco commercialization, especially in exports to important markets such as that of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Chile, France, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, and New Zealand, to name a few. We are the pioneers in the South Korean market, which we are recently entering.
During this long period of time, we have been able to note the complete abandonment of some 80% of Pisco producers, which are excluded from our governmental support programs. We are saddened by this, as Pisco is a national product, which represents our tradition, and culture, and has a guarantee of origin.
We invite you to visit our newly inaugurated website, We hope to count on your support, and perhaps a few lines that could be dedicated to the coverage of such an important project.
Julie Escudero Asin

11.-Sirs at El Pisco es del Perú
I would like to know how things are developing in regards to the “grape firewater” in the northern region of Peru, as it cannot be called Pisco due to the fact that the area does not have a respective Certificate of Origin. Thank you.
Luis León

12.-Mr. Livio Pastorino, thank you for your quick response. I am unable to subscribe to your website; it must be the way my computer is programmed. Would you be so kind as to register my subscription please? Also, do you know with whom I need to speak in the Peruvian Embassy in Madrid in order to begin activities that would promote Pisco?
Thank you,
Elsa Merino.

13.-Hi, I would like to get more information about Pisco that I cannot find in other areas. History professor Alejandro Málaga recommended that I contact you.
Thank you

14.-Hello. I believe that it is very important that people know the true origin of Pisco.

15.-Hi Livio, congratulations on the initiative. I am a producer of Pisco Chacra Maestra in Ica. I would like to meet you sometime soon! Hugs!
Carlos Olaechea

16.-Hello, this is a very interesting website.

17.-Hi! I don’t want to generate a controversy, and even less so a byzantine fight against those who ignore the right to be the only ones who can use the Guarantee of Origin (“denominacion de origen”). However, the title of this website is wrong: Pisco is from Peru…certainly I must say that the enemy is not Chile, even in their audacious use of the guarantee of origin. I must say that the enemy of a Peruvian is another Peruvian. We poke each other’s eyes out, we marginalize one another, and we are even disparaging with our own countrymen.
Ancash, specifically the district of Moro, has been a Pisco producer since the beginning of colonization, and currently we are the regional capital of Pisco.
Pisco is from the SOUTH…and not only the southern producers of our country, but also those of our neighboring country. They are one and the same. It is outrageous that those who marginalize us do so without allowing us to defend ourselves and are exceptionally strict. They are famous for their “Adam’s Complex” and far from being nationalistic are super regionalistic.
Moro is about 2 hours away from Chimbote in the Nepeña River Valley. Visit our lands, see and spread the word about our Pisco, which modestly competes with southern Pisco, and even more so with what is produced in Chile.
Manuel A. Gayoso Castillo

18.-When it was not the custom for a lot of people to drink Pisco, ever since I was a teenager I learned to drink it with my grandfather and uncles. I taught my friends to drink Chilcanos, and they always said I prepared them well. This magazine has allowed me to get to know the experts a little more as well as more about the Pisco culture.
Alberto Peña Neumann

19.-Congratulations on a very interesting magazine. In March I formed ZACOS, an importing business and promoter of Peruvian products. I am Peruvian and I have been living in Sydney, Australia since 1992. I ask that you send me links or contacts that are related to the export of Pisco. The Australian market does not yet know about our Pisco. Unfortunately the Pisco that is served here is Chilean. As a Peruvian, I feel the obligation to promote our Peruvian products. Please let me know if you can send me information.
Roberto Zegarra.

20.-It is very unfortunate that despite the fact that I am Peruvian and I celebrate important days such as the Day of Pisco, the Day of the Pisco Sour and other festive national dates, I am living here in the Russian Federation without Pisco.
What’s going on friends!? Don’t fall asleep on me!
Here in the Russian Federation, since about the month of April 2011, once again, and I repeat, once again, Chilean firewaters such as those of Capel, Bauza and Aba are being promoted via consumption, sales and advertising, as Pisco.
What’s going on friends!? I’m all alone here in Russia, and I’m trying to find someone in Peru to listen to me, so we can begin to sell our Pisco here. But I would also like to register it here in Russia before importing Pisco; register it with the name of Pisco in the brand and patent registries of the Russian Federation, and do so before the Chileans do it with their products! Otherwise, we will have yet another regret. At least as of April 2010, I knew that the name of Pisco was not registered in the patent office of the Russian Federation, but the word “Capel” was registered.
Pay attention friends! I repeat that I have been waiting for more than a year for someone to listen to me, and so far, no one has answered my call…what a shame!
Many Russian companies that import alcoholic beverages have told me, even without trying or seeing the true Pisco which only comes from Peru, that they cannot differentiate between the quality or even compare it to the Chilean product, under the brand name of Capel.
I hope someone hears my plea!
Wilder Gómez Ramos .

P.S. If you would like to call me, here is the information.
7 is the country code. 812 is the city code, and my cell phone is 953 3494773; the other phone number I use is 906 2502983. You can call me any time, but I prefer between 12pm and 3pm, Lima time, which is between 9pm and midnight here.

Write to us! At:

viernes, 12 de septiembre de 2014

In the land of Pisco... Vine Zone "Geographical Indications"


Translated by Katrina Heimark

We often hear people talk about a guarantee of origin and good
 quality of Pisco, also known as “Denominacion de Origen” in Spanish; but the question arises, do we know how to tell the difference between a Geographical Indication and a Guarantee of Origin? Due to this question, we will proceed to define the two.

What is a Geographical Indication?
A geographical indication is a sign that is used for products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are derived specifically from the place of origin.

In general, a geographical indication consists of the name of the product’s place of origin. A typical example is agricultural products that possess qualities that stem from their area of production, and are subject to specific local factors, such as weather and soil.

The fact that a sign can carry out the function of a geographical indication depends on national legislation and the perception that consumers have of this sign.

What is a Guarantee of Origin?
A Guarantee of Origin is a special type of geographical indication that generally consists of a geographic name. It can also be a traditional designation that is used for products that have specific qualities or characteristics that are essentially due to the geographical area of their production, made up of natural and human factors.

Champagne, Cognac, Roquefort, Chianti, Porto, Tequila and Pisco are examples of names that are associated with products of a determined nature, quality and geographical origin.

These indications are particularly exposed to unlawful appropriation and falsification by third parties, which can use the indications along with products that are not related to one other. Thus, the protection of said indications is exceedingly important, both on the national and international level. That is why treaties, such as the Lisbon Treaty, have been adopted specifically in response to the need for an international system that will facilitate the protection of the “Guarantees of Origin” in countries that are different from the country of origin.

At this time, our country has granted eight Guarantees of Origin: Pisco, Cusco Giant White Corn, Chulucanas, Pallar de Ica, Café Villa Rica, Loche de Lambayeque, Café Macchu Picchu– Huadquiña, Maca Junin-Pasco.

It is important to protect the rights of different guarantees of origin, as they aid producers in obtaining better prices for their products. As for consumers, the guarantee of origin represents a sort of certification in regards to production methods and product quality. And finally, guarantees of origin are important for the economic development of our country, as they serve as instruments for development and promotion of different regions.

By Gladys Romaní

Pisco bilingual magazine

domingo, 7 de septiembre de 2014

In the land of Pisco... The Five Pisco Regions: Lima

Translated by Katrina Heimark

Jaime Marimón and his work as the President of the Pisco Regulatory Council during the first seven months.

Even with a glass of Pisco in hand, and having discovered the drink’s incredible sensations, one cannot even begin to imagine the history that precedes it. Although Pisco, as many of us know, has been produced in Peru since the 16th Century, only just this year was the Pisco Regulatory Council established for the first time. And, without a doubt, the industry needs it.

Seven months have passed since Jaime Marimón Pizarro assumed the Presidency of this Council, which is precisely why we sought him out to answer a few questions. We talked with him so that he could tell us not only about the most important advances during his period in office, but also give his outlook on the industry, as well as discuss the activities and the things the Council must deal with. His responses were as energetic as he is, and he certainly doesn’t lose his smile or passion when he talks about Pisco.

What do you consider to be the principal advances that the Regulatory Council during your first seven months of leadership
It is very difficult to discuss advances. Let’s talk about administration. Some 40 producers have been incorporated into the council. We have drawn up new rules for competitions; we have opened the registries of bodegas and producers, and of tasters. Also, we have signed an administrative agreement with the Tequila Regulatory Council, and the Guarantee of Origin of Pisco has been incorporated in OriGIn and Peru was named Vice President for South America of said organization. A Consultative Council was formed, as well as a Monitoring Committee, and Regional Councils of the Regulatory Council. We are about to finish the creation of the Regulatory Council’s website, and Intranet. Also, we are negotiating with the Ministry of Production and the Presidency of the Ministerial Council that state entities begin to purchase Pisco, as we are requesting that the prohibition of its purchase by the state be revoked, especially since producers no longer want to continue to donate Pisco. We are drawing up the Rules of Authorization and Representation that the Regulatory Council must give to any activity that involves Pisco, whether it be festivals, tastings, competitions, workshops. Basically we have a very long list so we can prevent another mistake like that at Mistura 2011. As you can see, the list is long, and there is a lot more to do!

What is the outlook for Pisco like? Are there more or less difficulties than you imagined?
Well, we haven’t had what I would call difficulties, just different ways of thinking. If we were to have any difficulties, we would fix things with dialogue. The recent creation of the Regulatory Council has led to some activities and responsibilities overlapping with Conapisco, Produce and other organizations that are involved with Pisco, but we’ll fix it all through dialogue. We have redefined certain roles without them disappearing, as was originally feared. Many producers thought that the creation of the Regulatory Council would be a sort of magical cure for all problems, but this is not the case either. This is, and should be, a collective work; I just harmonize the work and resolve issues, in a sort of equality of options. Now we are doomed to generate the income necessary to continue our efforts. It is very important that the interested parties assume that we are working on the administration of the Guarantee of Origin, and that we all have to row on the same side of the boat, so to speak. Of course, there are always people who trip you up, but that is also how you advance…a little bruised, slowly, but always moving forward with enthusiasm.

Do you feel that it’s possible for a better organization among Pisco producers, which could be facilitated by the Regulatory Council? What would you have to do to achieve this?
Basically, work on our identity. We are studying the actions taken by regional workshops in order to coordinate the most important aspects so that producers and parts of the productive chain of each region have the possibility to be organized and coordinated. We need to start from the beginning: communication, association, quality, good practice; but above all, we need identity, in every sense of the word.

There is still a lot of ignorance in general in regards to Pisco. What actions will the Regulatory Council take to spread information both in the internal market, as well as the international area in regards to our national beverage?
There is a wide range of brochures and basic information available. Imagine that there are people who believe that green must is a grape used for Pisco. I know, that’s why I ask. I teach courses on wine and Pisco in different institutions and I always ask, what are the grapes used in Pisco? The best response has been Quebranta and Acholado, and the worst was Chardonnay which isn’t even a grape used in Pisco!
Yes, that’s why we have a duty to change this! And that duty is to teach Peruvians the basics about Pisco, and talk and consume Pisco with propriety. We are working on funding for this unending labor. For example, Produce has considered, within their year-end strategy, to favor national products over others, and Pisco is first in line. A basic plan has been presented for the spreading of information about Pisco to the entire population of Peru. We hope that a decision is made soon. Manuel Morón, of Produce, is leading this effort.

What is your opinion in regards to the current educational opportunities in regards to Pisco? Do you believe that courses with content that guarantee an ideal formation are offered to those who take them? Could the Regulatory Council collaborate with these courses to guarantee this happens?
This is part of the answer; we are defining the Rules of Authorization and Representation of the Regulatory Council. Today, everyone in the world wants to do tasting courses, training courses in various bars, district competitions, and many other things that involve Pisco besides. But who can verify the quality of the syllabus and the professor’s knowledge level? I just read about an activity that a university will host with the Academia del Pisco and which will discuss the Technical Regulations of Pisco. Don’t both entities know that now the true regulations are the Guarantee of Origin of Pisco? Please! Without a doubt, we will have a more active role in order to prevent these types of situations.

 What did you think of the presence Pisco had in Mistura 2011? Did the Regulatory Council participate? Should it have? What do you think will happen with Pisco in future Mistura events?
The truth is, we didn’t think what happened would happen. It was a shame that the area destined for Pisco was so small and uncomfortable. But that area was under the organization of the Universidad San Martín de Porres. No one should have gotten involved, because it was a bilateral issue between Mistura and the University. And, in regards to the video, I was warned by Jaime Reátegui that the content was full of mistakes, and since I wasn’t in Lima, I immediately called Soledad Marroquín, who is a member of the Consultative Committee of the Regulatory Council via Apega. She immediately intervened and the video was removed.

Well, unfortunately a huge opportunity for the spreading of correct information about Pisco was lost.
Without a doubt. In general, we need to regulate these issues, and those others that deal with Pisco and its activities. Everything should previously be discussed, analyzed and should adhere to the spirit of the Guarantee of Origin of Pisco. Also, via the Rules of Authorization and Representation, when they are ready to be published, those interested should request authorization via a commitment to adhere to the Guarantee of Origin of Pisco. If they want the sponsorship of the Regulatory Council, they should previously pay for rights. For example, we are currently conversing with ATV (a Television channel), which will air a series that centers on Pisco. The content of the script must be correct on a historical level, as well as on a technical and phrasing level. We have sent a letter to the producers of the series, and we will help them with their questions as well as what they choose to broadcast.

This is work that everyone must be involved in; the public’s eyes and ears can see and do more than those of the members of the Regulatory Council. Here’s an example of how we undermine ourselves; about a month ago I participated in and attended a provincial competition sponsored by Produce. When the awards ceremony began, they distinguished between Piscos without an authorization for their use, and Piscos with an authorization. This is even worse than the errors made in Mistura, precisely because it comes from Produce.

No kidding! This shows the low level of knowledge and understanding that still exists in regards to Pisco, and the undue treatment that it has gotten over the years in these areas. Well, to change topics …during the months of October and November, the regional competitions will take place as well as the National Competition of Pisco. Will there be any significant changes this year?
Yes, big changes. There will no longer be two competitions, but there will be one with two periods. We will adhere as much as possible to the OIV Regulations. This time the tasters will be randomly assigned, and I repeat, there will only be one national competition, which will involve the regional or classification competitions. It will be followed by the grand finale. In both competitions, only the top 30% will be awarded prizes. The awards ceremony for the final or national competition will be held on Friday night, and will be announced by score, so that the public in attendance can access the winning products for an increased period of time.

We will try to have business meetings with producers in more ideal areas on Friday and Saturday morning. There will be details throughout the month of October, as well as next month. The next 45 days will have a lot of Pisco activities!

And, starting now, I’ll give you the news. We hope that the National Competition will take place in the Parque de la Amistad in Surco, but, I must emphazise, using all of its available space. We have the authorization and we are double checking the layout with the Municipality in order to make this the exclusive “Mistura” version for Pisco, which is in the emblematic district of Surco and Santiago de Surco.

That would be marvelous! And what will happen with the National Competitions in Peru? Will they continue to be annual?
No. In the Congress that I presided over in Lunahuana, it was decided that they will take place every two years. This year, it was supposed to be in Moquegua, but due to the election, we lost the support of the mining companies. So the competitions will now take place during even years. Next year it will take place in Moquegua, probably in September or October.

How are things going with the Guarantee of Origin for the European Union?
Well, it isn’t an issue of Guarantee of Origin. There is a lot of misinformation in regards to the issue, and very bad people are behind that information. These people want to generate media attention. It is a very confidential issue that is being managed by and with first class professionals and in due strata. The scandal, the fake indignation, and the call for the heads of those involved is only favoring our competitors. By the end of this period there will be an official press release made by the government, as they are the ones administering the state issues.

What are the next steps the Council will take over the following months?
We have to at least finish those projects we are working on now, and finish building the house. It is a lot of work that requires a lot from all of those involved. One not only has to ask for things but one also has to give and collaborate. The Guarantee of Origin requires it. We need to take advantage of this historical opportunity to govern our future by generating quality. These opportunities do not happen twice. Come work with us, we all have something to do, and there is a place waiting for those who want to collaborate.

I would also like to say that it is very important that the media help us circulate the agreements, rules, brochures and other activities that the Regulatory Council does, in order to give Peru and the world information, as well as about the Guarantee of Origin that we are administrating. The Regulatory Council does not yet have funding for this, but it does need to be communicated.

After this long conversation, it was apparent to me that the issues the Regulatory Council has to deal with are many: producers, marketers, different institutions and media outlets, events, competitions, restaurants, hotels, and especially, consumers. However, we must be conscious that the only way to advance our Pisco will be with the support of each and every one of us. It is the moment to demonstrate our patriotism, by working with honesty and passion for Pisco, for its quality and its prestige. And don’t forget…Order Pisco, Demand Pisco, and Enjoy Pisco!

Interview by Lucero Villagarcia

Pisco bilingual magazine