Understanding the Essential Elements of a Pisco Label

Pisco has long been celebrated for its rich flavors and cultural significance. But beyond the delightful taste, the labels on pisco bottles carry essential information that reflects the spirit’s origin and quality. In this short lesson, we demystify the labeling requirements in Peru, shedding light on the key elements you need to know when selecting high-quality pisco.

Unveiling the Four Essential Elements:
In Peru, the Denomination of Origin (D.O.) regulations dictates that pisco labels must prominently display four crucial elements:

Grape Variety: The label should clearly specify the grape variety used in the pisco. For instance, when you spot ‘Mollar’ on a label, you know that those grapes played a starring role in crafting that particular pisco.

Valley Location: Pisco production is intricately linked to the geography of the valleys where the grapes are grown and the production facility is situated. The label will indicate the valley’s name, providing valuable insight into the pisco’s terroir. For example, “Mala Valley within the D.O. of Lima” signifies the grapes’ place of origin and the unique character it imparts.

Denominación de Origen Pisco: Look for this statement on the label; it confirms that the pisco adheres to the stringent quality standards set by the Denomination of Origin. This mark signifies that the pisco is an authentic product that meets the highest standards.

Production Facility Registration: Each pisco label also displays the production facility’s registration number with the D.O. This number is a testament to the adherence to quality standards and allows for traceability.

Additional Specifics on Type:
Some pisco producers go the extra mile by specifying the type of pisco they offer. For instance, you might encounter terms like ‘pisco puro,’ ‘acholado,’ or ‘mosto verde.’ These labels provide insights into the unique characteristics and production methods employed, enabling you to choose a pisco that suits your preferences.

Demystifying the Label – A Visual Guide:
To illustrate these elements, take a glance at our Mollar label below:

mollar pisco, pisco logia

Grape Variety (Number 1): Here, you’ll spot the ‘Mollar’ grape variety, revealing the core ingredient of this pisco.

Valley Location (Number 2): The label clearly identifies the location as the ‘Mala Valley within the D.O. of Lima.’ This tells the story of the pisco’s origin, capturing the essence of the region.

Denominación de Origen (Number 3): On the back of the label, the statement ‘Denominación de Origen Pisco’ confirms the pisco’s adherence to D.O. regulations.

Production Facility Registration (Number 4): Also on the back, the production facility’s registration number with the D.O. ensures accountability and quality.

Understanding these labeling requirements equips you with the knowledge needed to make informed and intelligent choices when you’re on the hunt for high-quality pisco. It’s a delightful journey to explore the world of pisco labels, revealing the stories and traditions that each bottle holds. So, next time you savor a glass of pisco, you’ll do so with a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and heritage behind it.

Unraveling the Origins of Quebranta and Cabernet Sauvignon: Crossing vs. Grafting

graft, grapes, pisco

When it comes to the world of grapevines, there’s more than meets the eye. Behind every grape variety, there’s a fascinating story of how it came into existence. To help us navigate this vineyard of knowledge, we’ll take a close look at the Quebranta grape, a cross between Mollar Cano and Negra Criolla, and Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Crossing Grape Varieties: Quebranta and Cabernet Sauvignon

Quebranta, the quintessential grape variety for making pisco in Peru, is a testament to the art of crossing grape varieties. This unique grape is the result of natural hybridization between two distinct parents, Mollar Cano and Negra Criolla.

In the natural process of grapevine reproduction, vines can cross-pollinate, resulting in the development of new grape varieties with genetic characteristics from both parent grapes. This hybridization also led to the creation of Cabernet Sauvignon, which has become one of the most popular and well-known red wine grape varieties in the world. The name “Cabernet” in Cabernet Sauvignon suggests a relationship with Cabernet Franc, and the “Sauvignon” portion of the name is associated with Sauvignon Blanc.

People often confuse crossing with grafting, so let’s dig deeper into that subject.

The Key Differences: Crossing vs. Grafting

Grafting and crossing grape varieties are two different processes used in viticulture for distinct purposes:

  1. Grafting:
    • Grafting is a horticultural technique used to combine the characteristics of two different grapevines.
    • It involves joining a scion (the top portion of a grapevine with desired characteristics) to a rootstock (the bottom portion with an established root system).
    • The purpose of grafting is to maintain the genetic identity of the scion while benefiting from the rootstock’s attributes, such as disease resistance, adaptability to certain soil types, or growth vigor.
    • Grafting is a form of asexual reproduction that does not result in the creation of a new grape variety; it preserves and propagates existing grape varieties with specific traits.


  1. Crossing grape varieties:
    • Crossing grape varieties is a process of sexual reproduction where two different grapevine varieties breed to create new grape varieties.
    • Crossing can be natural (through pollination) or controlled (to develop new grape cultivars with specific characteristics, such as flavor profiles, disease resistance, or adaptability to certain climates).
    • This process involves the pollination of one grape variety’s flowers with the pollen from another variety’s flowers.
    • The resulting grapevines from this process will have a unique genetic makeup, combining traits from both parent varieties. This can lead to the creation of entirely new grape varieties.


In summary, grafting is a technique used to preserve and combine the traits of existing grape varieties without altering their genetic makeup, while crossing grape varieties is a method for creating entirely new grape varieties by combining the genetics of two parent varieties.

The Timeless Craftsmanship of Copper Alembic Stills: Elevating Pisco Production in Peru

copper still pisco peru

When it comes to the art of distillation, the choice of still plays a pivotal role in shaping the quality and character of the final spirit. Among the various options available, copper alembic stills have long been hailed as the pinnacle of excellence. In this blog post, we will explore the superiority of copper alembic stills, particularly in the context of pisco production in Peru.

Copper has been revered by distillers for centuries, and for good reason. Its unique properties make it an ideal material for crafting alembic stills. The secret lies in copper’s remarkable ability to interact with the spirit during the distillation process. As the liquid vaporizes and rises through the still, it comes into contact with the copper surfaces. This interaction promotes chemical reactions and catalytic processes that enhance the aroma, flavor, and overall character of the distilled spirit.

To truly appreciate the significance of copper alembic stills, let’s turn our attention to the world of pisco production in Peru, where it is crafted with utmost precision. In Peru, the art of Pisco production intertwines tradition with modern techniques. At the heart of this harmonious blend is the copper alembic still, revered for its ability to extract and preserve the essence of the grapes. Through a delicate and artful distillation process, the stills transform the carefully selected grapes into a spirit that captures the very essence of the terroir, embodying the flavors and aromas of the region.

The Superiority of Copper Alembic Stills:

  1. Thermal Conductivity: Copper boasts exceptional thermal conductivity, allowing for efficient heat distribution during distillation. This ensures a controlled and precise process, enabling the separation of impurities and the extraction of desired flavors.
  2. Reactivity: Copper’s unique reactivity influences the chemical reactions that occur during distillation, removing unwanted compounds and producing a smoother, refined spirit. It acts as a catalyst, enhancing the formation of desirable aromas and flavors, while minimizing harsh elements.
  3. Sulfur Removal: Copper has a natural affinity for sulfur compounds, which are common in grape-based spirits. These compounds can contribute to off-flavors. Copper alembic stills effectively bind with sulfur, reducing its presence in the final product and resulting in a purer and more delightful spirit.


Copper alembic stills reign supreme in the realm of distillation. Their unrivaled ability to enhance aromas, flavors, and purity is evident in the illustrious world of pisco production in Peru. So, the next time you savor a glass of pisco, take a moment to appreciate the mesmerizing artistry behind copper alembic stills, the custodians of perfection in distillation.

Terroir of PiscoLogía Pisco- Tradition


Tradition is what makes PiscoLogía’s terroir truly exceptional. From spiritual rituals in the vineyard to labeling the bottles, everything Nati does ensures that her unrivaled craft that shows in every bottle.

In August, after hand-pruning every vine, Nati gives thanks to Pachamama, the Mother Earth of the Incas. This spiritual practice ensures harmony in the environment and a plentiful growth cycle.

The grapes receive individual care when they are hand-picked and hand selected, only the finest will be crushed and transformed into wine by fermentation by native yeasts.

Then in distillation, her insight and scientific knowledge tell her when to cut the heads from the tails, how to manage the calientavinos to save energy and how to care for the pisco during the resting phase.  Her copper pot still is the device that allows her to express her skill, allowing all the factors that make our terroir shine through in every bottle of PiscoLogía.

The conversion of wine to pisco is much more than a scientific process; it’s a manifestation of Nati’s skill and intuition, resulting in the maximum expression of terroir in every bottle.



Terroir of PiscoLogía Pisco- The Humboldt Current

Most of the world’s premium wine production takes place between the 30th and 50th parallels of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, where temperate conditions are conducive to grape growing. Growing healthy grapes outside of those parallels can be extremely difficult.

So how are we able to produce healthy pisco grapes in Azpitia, located at 12° S in the Tropic of Capricorn? The answer lies in an oceanographic phenomenon called the Humboldt Current.

The Humboldt Current is a cold ocean current that flows north along the western coast of South America. When the Current brings frigid waters from the Southern Chile to Northern Peru, it cools the ocean & creates dry, chilled air. This is why the Peruvian coastline is so arid. Where a dense jungle would normally lie, sand dunes and cacti line the coasts, creating very favorable wine-making conditions.

Upwelling that occurs when the cool current meets tropical waters brings rich nutrients to the surface, creating an irresistible feast for Peruvian birds. In the 16th Century, people dedicated a portion of the coast to the abundant bird population by naming the area “Pisco”.

Because of this fascinating phenomenon, we can grow grapes in optimal conditions and produce the high-quality wine that we distill to make PiscoLogía.


Terroir of PiscoLogía Pisco- The Pacific Ocean Breeze


PiscoLogía’s vineyards are located 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean at 200 meters above sea level. This proximity 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 more balanced wine, the wine we use to make PiscoLogía!

Terroir of PiscoLogía Pisco- Salty Wine, Briny Pisco


Vineyards near the coast are exposed to the tiny particles leftover from evaporated ocean spray droplets. Air currents carry the particles from the sea, depositing them on grape skins and the soil.

They then blend into the batch during production. Because wine is distilled only one time to make pisco. many characteristics of the wine shine through in the final product. When Distilled one time, A briny, minerally wine will create a pisco with similar descriptors.

This brackish mist is just like the natural yeasts in our vineyards in Azpitia. They are floating in the air, forming the uniqueness that is our terroir.

PiscoLogía’s Pisco Certificate Course Recognized as a Top Trend in the Spirits Industry in 2021

Spirits Trends 2021


Promoting Innovation and Change were the Criteria used to Select Trends for the Upcoming Year

PiscoLogía’s certificate course was recognized as a “cocktail trend to watch in 2021” by the Spirits Business, the only international trade magazine and website in the world solely dedicated to the spirits industry. Highlighting innovative educational trends in the on-trade in 2021, the article states: While bartenders can now undertake specialist spirits education programmes, including an online course dedicated to pisco, venues looking to increase their revenue streams have also embraced the opportunity to educate consumers through cocktail‐ making masterclasses”.

Founder and lead Instructional Designer of the course, Meg McFarland commented: “Our goal in creating the certificate program was to help the industry community through education, but being recognized as top innovators in the spirits industry is a delightful bonus. We hope this trend continues and those in the industry has the resources they need to grow during this difficult time”.

Launched in October 2020, the Pisco Certificate Course is a comprehensive program for spirits lovers, professionals in the service industry, sommeliers and beyond. The interactive and immersive curriculum teaches vocabulary and pronunciation, varieties and production zones, the history of pisco, how to craft pisco cocktails and much more.

For questions or to receive free access to the course, please write to: info@piscocertificate.com.


About PiscoLogía

PiscoLogía Quebranta, a single-variety Peruvian pisco, won a gold medal at the Women’s Wine and Spirits Awards in London in 2019. PiscoLogía Acholado, a blend of Italia and Quebranta piscos, was awarded a gold medal at the SIP Awards in California. Both piscos are crafted in the Denomination of Origin of Lima (Azpitia) by Master Distiller Nati Gordillo.

PiscoLogía is available in the USA through Craft Distillers, in Canada through the Unknown Agency and in Japan through The Blue Habu Trade Group.


All the Peruvian Pisco Grapes- Quebranta, Italia and 6 Others

The 4 aromatic pisco grapes are Albilla, Torontel, Italia and Moscatel. The 4 non-aromatic grapes are Quebranta, Uvina, Mollar and Negra Criolla. But before we explore each variety, first let’s talk about the 2 categories of pisco grapes: aromatic and non-aromatic. While the latter categorization might imply that some piscos lack aromas, it should be clarified that all varieties of Peruvian pisco have very expressive aromas. This often creates confusion for people not familiar with Peruvian pisco. They understandably expect a “non-aromatic” pisco to not have any aromas.

All the Peruvian pisco grapes have highly aromatic qualities because of production methods required by the Denomination of Origin in Peru. First, the single distillation method helps bring out the unique aromatic profile of each grape variety. Then, resting in neutral casks enhances aromas while preserving the pisco’s original identity. This is different than spirits that age in barrels whose flavors and aromas are altered by wood. Please watch the video below for more information.



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