What is Pisco?
Pisco is the Peruvian grape "aguardiente" obtained from the distillation of recently fermented musts exclusively grapes (grape juice), according to traditional practices established in production areas duly recognized and declared as such by Peruvian legislation. The only production areas of Pisco are located on the coast of the Departments of Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and the Locumba, Sama and Caplina valleys in the Department of Tacna, Peru.
The origin of the name Pisco is undoubtedly Peruvian as proved by a research carried out by lexicographers, chroniclers and historians. The word comes from the pre-Hispanic Quechua word meaning "bird" "(Juan de Arona, pseudonym of Pedro Paz Soldán y Unánue. Diccionario de Peruanismos, Tomo II, Ediciones Peisa, Lima 1975, page 323).Precisely, captivated by the large quantity and diversity of "birds", which could be seen along this coastal region (located 200 km south of Lima), the Incas used the Quechua word "Pisko" to name this valley, where the famous Paracas culture flourished.
Grapes first arrived in Peru from the Canary Islands during the 16th century brought by the Marquis Francisco de Caravantes. Chroniclers from this era pointed out that the first viniculture process that ever occurred in South America took place in the Marcahuasi Farm, in Cuzco. However, it was in the valleys of Ica where these crops largely expanded thanks to adequate weather conditions. Therefore, the wine industry developed strongly in this area. As from the mid 16th century (1574), the Spaniards started to use the name Pisco to designate the name of a river, a town and a port, which was used as one of the most important transport means for regional trade. It was the shipping port for guano, and for silver shipping to Spain.
*Ask for Pisco at your liquor distributor in other provinces.