Brix levels have reached 23° and our grapes have ripened to perfection, thanks to the balmy Peruvian sun. The fruit has an acidity of 3.4PH because of the cooling effect of the evening Pacific Ocean breeze. It’s time for harvest.
Flor and Samuel, who help care for our grapes, gather their family members in preparation for harvest. With an expected high of 28°C/82° F and humidity of 69% in Azpitia today, it will be sultry. To avoid the heat, we start picking grapes at 5:00AM, when the average temperature is 20°C/68° F.
To maintain tradition, we harvest by hand. That allows us to hand-select each and every grape that goes into our pisco.
The grapes are then destemmed
and then crushed by foot, in order to extract the juice, but not crush the seeds that could add bitterness to the juice.
A secondary crush then extracts the juice that remains between the flesh and the skin of the grapes.
Nati throws some skins back into the juice, just to ensure Azpitia’s natural yeasts are present.
In 7 to 10 days, the yeasts work their magic, the juice ferments and the wine is ready for distillation.