Craft Pisco, The Consumer and The Community

“Craft” is a term that is over-used and unregulated, making it difficult to differentiate between what is truly craft and what isn’t. We believe PiscoLogía is the quintessential craft pisco because every part of our process is completed through handmade, artisanal practices.  To us, our craft methods are important not only because they build the foundation for a premium pisco, but because they provide benefits for those who help make PiscoLogía.

 

craft pisco, piscologia, peruvian pisco pisco

Our Craft Practices Provide Economic Benefits for the Community

Using human hands to complete every part of our production process means more economic benefits to the community in Azpitia. We do everything by hand, from planting to pruning, to harvesting, crushing and bottling. The more people we require, the more families we provide for.

We also believe the lack of intervention from machines guarantees a higher quality product. For example, hand harvesting allows us to select every grape that goes into our pisco. It also allows us to harvest in small batches so the grapes reach optimal sugar levels to facilitate fermentation with native yeasts.

 

Positive Environmental Impact

Craft methods applied in the vineyards benefit the environment. We don’t use industrial viticulture methods, fertilizers or excess chemicals, allowing us to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our oceans and rivers. Instead of machines or pumps, we save energy through a system of gravity-flow surface irrigation to collect runoff from the Andes to sparingly irrigate our vines.

 

Non-Intervention Winemaking

To make a good pisco, you must first start with a good wine.  We never use commercial yeasts or enzymes in our winemaking process. Instead, natural ambient yeasts ferment our grape juice. We feel that non-intervention methods provide us with a wine that fully expresses the terroir of our vineyards, something you can taste in every bottle of pisco.

 

Small Batch

Small batch means that Nati can demonstrate her skill and love of pisco-making with every distillation. Using a 300L copper pot still allows her to control distillation more easily and conserve energy. Every batch is unique and reflects the hard work of everyone who helped make it, the characteristics of the harvest and the artistic skill of Nati.

Milennials, the Craft Spirits Movement and PiscoLogia

hand harvest, pisco grapes, quebranta, acholado, piscologia, peruvian pisco, craft pisco, craft liquor, craft spirits

 

Several recent studies have shown that Millennials are drinking less alcohol in the USA, Australia, the U.K., and many European countries (Pattani). According to Forbes, Millennial drinkers are also paying more for higher quality “craft” beer and spirits (Nurin). We feel Millenials’ demand for specialty booze is setting a positive trend for the future, so let’s discuss what “craft” means and how it relates to PiscoLogía.

 

What is craft liquor? In our opinion, the authority on this subject is Craft Distillers. They describe the craft method as: “the creative individuality of a single human being working with small, hand-operated equipment”. They also mention that these methods are the antithesis of large-production spirits, as they reflect the authenticity, experience, personal attention, and love of one’s work. We apply all these principles when making our quebranta and acholado.

 

The craft nature of PiscoLogía starts from the moment the vines are planted and it ends when our pisco is consumed. Everything is completed by hand, including planting, pruning, harvesting, selecting, crushing, distilling, filtering, bottling and labeling. We believe the process continues when our quebranta and acholado are mixed in beautiful cocktails by an experienced bartender and enjoyed by you. Here are more details about each component:

 

 

Pruning: We prune by hand, usually in July or August (winter in Azpitia). Using manual techniques gives the plants a more gentle & meticulous treatment and avoids overcropping. Many large companies prune mechanically to save money. However, we will always prune by hand because it provides jobs for people we care about.

 

Estate-grown grapes: We personally care for our vineyards to provide maximum quality control of our grapes. Tending to our own estate-grown grapes also ensures that no excess pesticides and fungicides are used on the plants. This investment of time pays off with our high-quality pisco.

 

Harvest: Our harvests are completed strictly by hand in early March. Hand-harvesting gives us the benefit of selecting every grape that goes into our pisco. This also allows us to harvest in small batches so the grapes can reach perfect sugar levels.

 

Crushing process: Crushing our grapes lightly by foot avoids breaking the seeds, which can give the wine we distill a bitter flavor.

 

Fermentation: Nati carefully monitors the fermentation process. She prefers to allow native yeasts to kickstart fermentation. These natural ambient yeasts (also called “bloom” or “blush”) allow the terroir of Azpitia to fully express itself in our pisco.

 

Small batch: Our wine is distilled in small batches in our 300L copper pot still. This allows us to control distillation more easily and it uses less energy.

 

The rest: From hand-labeling each bottle to social media posts, every part of this cycle is carried out by our workers and partners, making PiscoLogía is the most quintessential craft spirit. We can thank Millenials for helping us recognize the value of focusing on quality, not quantity. Hopefully the push toward craft spirits will be a trend that will continue in the future.

 

 

Sources:

Aneri Pattani. New study shows millennials are drinking less, enjoying it more”, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 7 August 2018, https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2018/08/07/New-study-shows-millennials-drinking-less-pennsylvania/stories/201808060166

 

Nurin, Tara. “10 Trends That Will Determine Your Drinking In 2018”, Forbes, 31 January 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/taranurin/2018/01/31/ten-trends-that-will-determine-your-drinking-in-2018/#1b5113c42992

About that Terroir………

peruvian pisco, piscologia, azpitia, craft pisco, terroir, vineyards in peru, rhone, alsace, piedmont, soils, ica, wineries in peru, how to make peruvian pisco

A peek at our soils in Azpitia

 

To make an exceptional craft pisco, you must start with a good wine. To make a fine wine, you must have the proper conditions, or terroir, to grow healthy, high-quality grapes. In a previous post, we talked about the ambient yeasts that grow naturally in Azpitia, forming part of the terroir of our vineyards. However, terroir involves many other factors that influence the quality and flavor of wine, including soil types, climate, sunlight, location, plant orientation and wind. Today we will focus on the soils and location of our vineyards.

The sandy, gravel and sandstone soils we have at Azpitia play an important role in healthy grape growth. Here is a chart to explain them:

Soil Type:Similar To:Benefit:
SandThe Italian wine regions of PiedmontProvides excellent drainage and protects against phylloxera, a deadly fungus

 

GravelSome vineyards in the Rhone area of FranceReflects and maintains heat, which allows for larger grapes with higher alcohol content

 

SandstoneAlsace, FranceProvides nutrients and minerals such as iron oxide to make sweeter grapes

 

Furthermore, similar to some of the most famous wine regions of California, Piscología’s vineyards are located close to the Pacific Ocean, at 200 meters above sea level. This proximity (4 miles) and altitude create a perfect storm in the evening, when the ocean breeze channels through the Mala River Valley to reach our vineyards, reducing the temperature surrounding our vines. This cooling phenomenon provides us with grapes with higher acidity levels. Grapes with higher acidity create a balanced, delectable wine, the wine we distill to create Piscología!

PiscoLogía’s (Spirit)ual Bond with Craft Distillers

craft distillers, piscologia, peruvian pisco, acholado, quebranta, what is pisco, craft pisco, where to buy pisco, caddell williams, pisco in california

 

We feel profound gratitude, exhilaration, and humility to be represented in the USA by Craft Distillers, one of the most highly regarded companies in the realm of distilled spirits. However, this is much more than a monumental opportunity for our small brand. Because Craft Distillers sets the standard for integrity in the industry, it is a tremendous honor to have PiscoLogía join their portfolio.

 

Craft Distillers emphasizes beautifully made spirits and the methods and human beings behind them. They apply this philosophy when marketing products that are hand-made, innovative, and authentic. Equally important, it is evident this “humanness” manifests itself in their company culture. The Craft Distillers team members are cordial and empathetic with their brand partners, always demonstrating graciousness and integrity that have become anomalies in this day and age.

 

We started this company in 2008 with the goal of creating a craft Peruvian pisco to be appreciated around the world. In order to create this superior product, we knew we needed to use traditional methods, abide by the Denomination of Origin, provide utmost care for our grapes and workers, and distill with the same experience, personal attention, and talent that Craft Distillers requires.

 

Luckily, the stars aligned, our persistence proved fruitful and we have formed this “spiritual” bond with the best in the industry. We are extremely humbled as we make preparations to grow across all 50 states with Craft Distillers. Please stay tuned as we announce more information about availability in your state!

 

For more information, visit: www.craftdistillers.com