lunes, 25 de mayo de 2015

In the land of pisco... The Five Pisco Regions "The Vineyard Zones of Tacna"

Pisco has been produced in the department of Tacna since colonial times. The production of the Negra Criolla grape variety (Vitis vinifera L.), cultivated in the Locumba-Cinto, Magollo, Pocollay, Calana, and Pachia zones, with grape plantations in Los Palos, is dedicated to the production of wines and Piscos. The area’s climate factors, the soil and cultural and agricultural practices generate an ideal ecosystem for the production of this grape variety and its industrialization. 

The name Tacna comes from the Quechua word takana, “I hit.” Its geographical coordinates situate the region between latitudes 16°58’ to 18°20’ and longitudes 69°28’ to 71°02.’ It is bordered on the northeast by the region of Moquegua, to the north by the department of Puno, to the east the Republic of Bolivia, to the south, the Republic of Chile and to the west by the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Two-thirds part of the territory corresponds to coastal  areas, and one third is situated along the mountains. The coast has a dry climate, with temperatures varying between 12º to 30ºC, and four coastal rivers condition the formation of three isolated valleys. The average temperature is 17.5 °C. 

Within the vineyards and the production fields of the Tacna region the Italia and Negra Criolla grape varieties predominate as the raw materials for the production of wines and Pisco which are distributed in five districts of the Province of Tacna, and one in the Province of Jorge Basadre Grohoman. 

Tacna     Tacna     Magollo     Tacna
Tacna     Pachía     Pachía     Tacna
Tacna     Calana     Calana     Tacna
Tacna     Pocollay     Pocollay     Tacna
Tacna     Inclán     Puquio     Sama
J. Basadre     Locumba     Locumba     Locumba

Tacna is the fourth best producer of grapes at the national level, with about 500 hectares of vineyards and a production of 10,810 kilograms per hectare. Tacna’s bodegas produce about 108,000 liters of Pisco, the rest are allocated to the production of wine, and the marketing of table grapes (Source: Ministry of Production of Tacna, 2008). 

“Tacna Pisco is transparent, clean and clear; without color. If the Pisco is made from Negra Criolla grapes, the aromas of the raw materials from which the grapes come must not be dominating and one should perceive pleasant herbaceous smells, it is moderate and persistant.” (---According to a sensory analytical study “Determination of the Negra Criolla (Vitis vinifera L.) Grape Pisco Sensory Profile through quantitative descriptive analysis in the Tacna Region”--Linares, 2011). 

Pisco made from the Negra Criolla grape in regards to the aroma is slightly alcoholic, with smells of dried fruit and wood, a slight smell of syrup, vanilla and citrus fruits.  Light notes of herbs and white flowers. In regards to taste, it is alcoholic, slightly astringent, sweet and bitter, with a presence of dried fruit, wood, vanilla and herbs. It is a persistent Pisco with character. 

By Engineer Patricia Linares
Enologist and Pisco Taster 

Translated by Katrina Heimark

lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015

In the land of Pisco... The 5 Pisco Regions: Lima

Pisco Made an Impact at Mistura for the first time

Mistura, the most important cuisine fair in Peru took place from August 7 to 16 in the Campo de Marte Park. As has been done every year, a space was given for Pisco, and this time, it was done  with an obvious effort to improve the treatment that our national beverage had received in the past. A good decision was made to name the recognized enologist Cristina Vallarino, as the person responsible for the organization of the Pisco area. 

Cristina accepted the challenge, and immediately formed a team that, together with her, improved the space and tried to give Pisco the space that it deserved (and she achieved it!), and which had not been given in the previous presentations at the fair. In this way she was also able to emphasize Pisco’s place in Peruvian culture. 

In order to achieve the task, Cristina sought out qualified professionals who had passion for Pisco and who could be certain to complete such a big task. She invited Júver Aliaga, Sommelier and Pisco Taster, Carolina Zuta, chef, Alicia Polvarini, Historian from the Universidad Catolica, Jorge Benavides, Director of the IDVIP, Angela Anderson, diffuser of Peruvian cuisine, and she invited me, since I have been working on the topic of Pisco intensely. 

Juver Aliaga was in charge of coordinating the assistance with all of the logistics of the area, and with getting sponsorships in order to complete the project. He did so with complete professionalism. Carolina had the incredible task of getting the most bottles of Pisco as possible. In doing so, a record was established for having the most Pisco labels in one place. This also meant making sure that almost all the bodegas from all the regions, all the types of grapes and all the types of Pisco were present in the Pisco area. All of which had not happened before. 

Dr. Polvarini authored, impeccably, the documents that summarized the history of Pisco; which were later translated to English, French, German and Quechua. Angela was in charge of attending to all the people who arrived to visit the Pisco area. Her presence in the tasting room, her attention to every detail and her ability to secure the success of every event was fundamental. 

I was in charge of coordinating with Aromas del Peru, the preparation of the smells of every one of the Pisco grapes, so that people who visited the area could understand that Pisco is more than just alcohol, and that the Pisco grapes have delicious and enchanting aromas, but also that each grape has its own distinct characteristics. It was exciting to see thousands of people smelling the glasses and understanding (finally) that Pisco has an ample range of smells, all of which are rich. 

Also, I was lucky to be in charge of the organization of the talks and Pisco tastings, which took place from the first to the last day of the fair. There were 57 in total, all of which had a capacity for 18 people. Of course, the sessions were led by professional Pisco tasters, who are also Sommeliers, but above all, have incredible knowledge, experience and passion for our national beverage: Gladys Romaní, Livio Pastorino, Augusto Grados, Jorge Jiménez, Juan Arias, as well as myself. We were there every day that the fair lasted with full dedication. 

This beautiful space was a true success, not only because all of the Pisco tasting sessions were full and had people waiting in the doorway for the next session, but also because of the favorable reception of the tastings, more sessions had to be coordinated. It was a great didactic and sensory experience for the participants, who were not only Peruvian, but also foreigners, but who were able to learn about the history, origin of the name of Pisco, the process of elaboration, the different regions, and the Pisco grapes. They also had the opportunity to do a tasting of two different Pisco grapes, so that they could better understand what Pisco is. 

It is important to note that Cristina had a great idea to put alcohol-meters in the entry and exit doors, so that people could know right away whether they would be able to continue drinking or drive away and which also served, in second place, as a reference of how much the alcohol they consumed represented. Pisco, although a delicious beverage full of history and culture, it is an alcoholic beverage, and must be drunk cautiously. 

Definitively, these and many other activities which took place during this cuisine and gastronomy fair, where Pisco could not be absent, gave us many reasons to celebrate. And this celebration began at the door of the Pisco area, with a toast where hundreds of hands raised at the same time, saluted a new era of the presence of Pisco in Mistura. 

By Lucero Villagarcia

Translated by Katrina Heimark

Pisco bilingual magazine