What are the different grape varietals used to make Pisco?

by Spirits

Pisco is an aromatic, brandy-style spirit made from grapes. It is produced in the wine regions of Chile and Peru, where it has been a popular drink for centuries. Pisco is made from a variety of grape varietals, including Muscat, Torontel, Quebranta and Italia. Each varietal brings its own unique characteristics to the final product.

In this article, we will dive into the different grape varietals used to make Pisco, exploring the differences between them and how they influence the flavor of the finished product.Pisco is a type of brandy produced in Peru and Chile. It is made from grapes that are fermented and distilled into a clear, high-proof spirit. Pisco has been around since the 16th century and is an important part of both countries’ cultural heritage.

Pisco is usually served neat as an aperitif, but it can also be used to make cocktails such as the Pisco Sour or Pisco Punch. It has a fruity, floral flavor that can range from sweet to dry depending on the type of grape used in its production. Some varieties of Pisco are aged in oak barrels for added complexity, while others are left unaged for a more pure expression of its aromas and flavors.

Pisco is typically bottled at 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume), but some brands offer higher proof varieties. In recent years, Pisco has become increasingly popular outside of Peru and Chile, making it easier to find in the United States and other countries.

Origin of Pisco

Pisco is a distilled alcoholic beverage that originated in Peru around the 16th century. It is made from grapes that are harvested and then fermented before being distilled into a clear, colorless liquid. The name “Pisco” comes from the Quechua word for bird, which was used to describe the shape of the bottles in which it was traditionally sold. Today, it is consumed all over Peru, but is most popular in Lima and Ica. It has also spread to Chile and other parts of Latin America where it is enjoyed as an aperitif or used to make cocktails such as the famous Pisco Sour.

Production of Pisco

Pisco is produced by fermenting grapes into a high-proof wine before distilling them twice through copper pot stills. Different types of pisco can be produced depending on the types of grapes used, as well as the amount of time allowed for fermentation and distillation. The most common types are Quebranta (made with black grape varieties), Italia (made with white grape varieties), and Acholado (a blend of both). Once distilled, pisco must be aged in either glass or stainless steel containers for at least three months before it can be bottled and sold.

History of Pisco

The history of pisco dates back to pre-Colombian times, when indigenous South Americans fermented wild grapes into an alcoholic beverage called “Chicha”. After Spanish colonization brought new grape varieties to Latin America, Chicha was replaced by a stronger form of alcohol called “Coquimbo” or “Culque”, which were made from sweetened grape musts that had been distilled in copper stills. By the mid 16th century, Coquimbo had evolved into what we now know as pisco. In 1613 it was officially recognized by royal decree as a distinct spirit from other grape brandies.

Today, pisco remains an important part of Peruvian culture and cuisine. It is often served neat or mixed with soda water or freshly-squeezed lemon juice to make popular drinks such as Piscola (pisco mixed with cola) or Chilcano (pisco mixed with ginger beer). In addition to its popularity in Peru, pisco can now be found in bars and restaurants all over Latin America, Europe and North America.

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Most Popular Types of Pisco

Pisco is a type of brandy, produced in South America. It is made from grapes and is a popular alcoholic beverage in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. There are several different types of pisco available, each with its own unique flavors and characteristics. Here are some of the most popular types of pisco:

Puro: This type of pisco is made from a single variety of grape. It has a complex flavor with notes of fruit and spice. Puro piscos tend to be full-bodied and have a higher alcohol content than other types.

Aromatico: Aromatico piscos are made from two or more varieties of grapes, usually Muscat and Pedro Ximenez. They have a sweet aroma and taste that are reminiscent of flowers and fruits. Aromatico piscos tend to be lighter-bodied than other varieties.

Mosto Verde: Mosto verde piscos are made from partially fermented grape juice. They have a sweet taste with notes of citrus, honey, and spices. Mosto verde piscos tend to be light-bodied with low alcohol content.

Torontel: Torontel is a type of white grape used to make this type of pisco. It has floral aromas and flavors that include peach, apricot, melon, citrus, honey, and spice. Torontel piscos tend to be light-bodied with moderate alcohol content.

How is Pisco Made?

Pisco is a brandy made from grapes that are grown in the coastal valleys of Peru and Chile. The grapes used to make pisco are picked in the late summer and early fall, when they have reached their peak ripeness. The grapes are then crushed and fermented, with the resulting liquid being distilled in copper pot stills. After distillation, the pisco is aged for up to two years in oak barrels before it is bottled and sold.

The type of grape used to make pisco varies by region, but some of the most popular varieties include quebranta, italia, torontel, mollar, and albilla. Each type of grape brings its own unique flavor and aroma to the finished product. Quebranta grapes are known for their strong aroma and robust flavor; italia grapes are known for their floral notes; torontel grapes give pisco a sweet flavor; mollar grapes provide a fruity flavor; and albilla grapes offer a mellow taste.

The production process for pisco can vary slightly depending on the region where it is made. In Peru, for example, all of the steps involved in making pisco are done by hand – from picking the grapes to bottling the finished product – whereas in Chile some parts of production may be done with machines. Regardless of how it’s made, though, all quality piscos must be aged for at least three months before they can be sold.

Different Grape Varietals Used to Make Pisco

Pisco is a type of brandy made from grapes. It is produced in the wine-producing regions of Peru and Chile. In both countries, only certain types of grapes are allowed for use in Pisco production. In Peru, eight varieties are authorized: Quebranta, Mollar, Negra Criolla, Uvina, Italia, Albilla, Moscatel, and Torontel. In Chile the varieties used to make Pisco are Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Moscatel de Alejandria.

Quebranta is the most widely used grape variety in Peru for making Pisco. It is an aromatic white grape with thick skin and small berries. The Mollar variety has a sweet flavor and is often blended with other varieties to enhance the flavor of the final product. Negra Criolla is a dark-skinned variety that gives Pisco a deep color and strong aroma. Uvina produces a dry and smooth liquor that has earthy flavors like blackberries or plums.

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The Italia grape has a light yellow color and produces a brandy that has floral notes with hints of citrus fruits like lemon or lime. Albilla produces a smooth brandy with hints of green apple or pear aromas. The Moscatel variety gives Pisco an intense floral aroma and sweet taste that pairs well with desserts or cocktails. Finally, Torontel provides aromas of orange blossom and jasmine to the final product.

In Chile there are three main varieties used for making Pisco: Muscat of Alexandria (also known as Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains), Muscat à Petit Grains Rouge (also known as Muscat Rouge) and Moscatel de Alejandria (also called Muscat d’Alexandrie). Muscat of Alexandria is an aromatic white grape which provides sweetness to the finished product while also adding floral notes like jasmine or orange blossom. The second variety, Muscat à Petit Grains Rouge adds complexity to the flavor profile by adding red berry notes such as raspberry or cherry as well as spicy notes like pepper or clove. Finally, Moscatel de Alejandria (or Muscat d’Alexandrie) contributes intense aromas such as honeysuckle and peach along with some sweetness to the final product.

Regardless of which country it comes from, all types of grapes used for making pisco must be harvested from specific designated areas within each country in order to maintain its unique character linked to its origin origin designation. As such all piscos produced must meet certain specifications in order to guarantee its quality regardless if it comes from Peru or Chile

Pisco Distillation Process for Making Pisco

Pisco is a type of brandy that originates from Peru and Chile. It is made using a distillation process that has been around since the 16th century. The base ingredients used in the process are grapes, which are fermented and then distilled in copper pots or stills. Distillation is the process of separating the alcohol from the water in the grapes, resulting in a strong, flavor-filled spirit. The distillation process for making Pisco involves several steps, including crushing, fermentation, distillation, and aging.


The first step in making Pisco is to crush the grapes. This can be done either by hand or with a machine. Once crushed, the grape musts are left to macerate for between 24 and 48 hours before being fermented. During this time, natural yeast present on the skins of the grapes will begin to convert sugar into alcohol.


The next step in making Pisco is fermentation. During this stage, sugar is converted into alcohol as yeast eats away at it. This typically takes between 6 to 8 days and can take up to 10 days depending on factors such as temperature and humidity. At this point, the must will have an alcohol content of between 7-10%.


The third step in making Pisco is distillation. The must is heated until it evaporates and then cooled down again so that it condenses back into liquid form with a higher alcohol content than before (usually between 30-50%). This liquid is then collected and stored for aging or bottling as Pisco brandy.


The last step in making Pisco is aging or maturation, which can take anywhere from 2 months all the way up to two years depending on what type of pisco you are trying to make. During this time, flavors develop as oxygen interacts with the spirit resulting in a smooth flavor profile with notes of vanilla, oak, caramel and other fruits or spices depending on what ingredients were added during distillation process.

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Once aged properly, pisco can be bottled and enjoyed!

Aging and Bottle Characteristics of Pisco

Pisco is a type of brandy made from grapes in Peru and Chile. It has a distinct flavor and aroma, which makes it a popular choice for cocktails. The way that the Pisco is stored and aged can greatly affect its flavor. Moreover, the bottle characteristics can also influence the flavor of the Pisco.


Pisco is typically aged in oak barrels or other types of containers. The length of aging will vary depending on the type of Pisco being made. Generally, lighter-bodied Piscos are aged for shorter periods of time, while fuller-bodied varieties may be aged for up to three years or longer. The longer it is aged, the more intense its flavor will become.

Bottle Characteristics

The type of bottle used to store the Pisco can also affect its flavor profile. Piscos that are stored in glass bottles tend to have a smoother and milder taste, while those stored in metal containers may have a more intense flavor profile. Additionally, many brands choose to decorate their bottles with labels or other designs to make them stand out from other products on the shelf.

Overall, aging and bottle characteristics can play an important role in determining the flavor profile of a particular brand of Pisco. By understanding these elements, consumers can make more informed decisions when selecting their favorite type of this popular beverage.

Serving Suggestions for Pisco

Pisco is a popular distilled spirit from South America, made from grapes. It is frequently used in cocktails and has a unique flavor that sets it apart from other spirits. Here are some great serving suggestions for Pisco:

Pisco Sour: This classic cocktail combines Pisco with lime juice, simple syrup, bitters, and egg white. Shake all ingredients together and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Pisco Punch: This refreshing punch combines Pisco with pineapple juice, lime juice, sugar syrup and soda water. Mix all ingredients together in a large punch bowl and serve over ice.

Pisco Mule: This twist on the classic Moscow Mule contains Pisco, ginger beer, lime juice and simple syrup. Stir all ingredients together in a tall glass over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Pisco Martini: For an elegant drink, combine Pisco with dry vermouth and orange bitters. Shake all ingredients together in a shaker filled with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

No matter how you choose to serve Pisco, it’s sure to be a hit! Enjoy experimenting and finding new ways to enjoy this versatile spirit!


Pisco is a traditional Peruvian and Chilean brandy made from grapes. It has a unique flavor that comes from the type of grape used to make it. There are eight different grape varietals commonly used in the production of Pisco: Quebranta, Mollar, Negra Criolla, Uvina, Torontel, Italia, Albilla, and Moscatel. Each type of grape imparts its own unique flavor to the final product. The combination of these grapes creates a unique and flavorful beverage with a distinct character found only in Peru and Chile.

Pisco is fast becoming an increasingly popular drink around the world due to its unique flavor profile. With the increasing demand for this brandy, more producers are experimenting with different grape varietals to create new and exciting flavors for their customers to enjoy. With so many options available, there is certainly something for everyone when it comes to Pisco!



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