The Journey from Vine to Bottle
The Journey from Vine to Bottle at Hacienda La Caravedo
Of Artisanal Craftmanship
At Hacienda La Caravedo, the oldest distillery in the Americas, established in 1684 in Ica, Peru, we are dedicated to crafting the finest piscos, Peru’s native spirit. Made entirely from grapes and requiring specialized production skills and techniques, pisco spans over 400 years and embodies the terroir of the Peruvian coast and the traditions and heritage of a nation.
We proudly honor the centuries of craftsmanship behind this traditional spirit and share with you Hacienda La Caravedo: The Journey from Vine to Bottle and a view behind the gate into what it takes to make the most awarded piscos in the world.
Nestled in the Ica Valley of Peru, amidst the foothills of the Andes, lies the oldest distillery in the Americas, Hacienda La Caravedo, established in 1684. From here, we manage the pisco-making process at every step –from vine to bottle–ensuring the highest quality in each batch. Our Master Distiller Johnny Schuler, the foremost pisco expert in the world, crafts our portfolio of piscos using estate-grown grapes and traditional artisanal distilling techniques, resulting in the finest expression and most awarded portfolio of piscos.
Our portfolio includes Caravedo Mosto Verde, an acholado, or blend, of four grape varietals, crafted in the Mosto Verde style; Caravedo Acholado, a blend of three grape varietals; Caravedo Torontel, a puro, or single grape expression, made from the Torontel grape, and Caravedo Quebranta, a puro using the Quebranta grape.
With the #1 exported pisco from Peru to the United States and a portfolio recognized with over 150 awards, accolades, and top honors in international spirits competitions, Hacienda La Caravedo is dedicated to honoring the spirit of tradition, craft, and adventure.
Are you ready to discover a whole new world?
The Soul and Essence of Wine
Pisco and its Denomination of Origin
Rules and Regulations
Pisco, which means “little bird” in Peru’s indigenous Quechua language and is also a reference to the city and port of Pisco where the spirit is believed to have originated, is steeped in heritage and tradition. It is one of the few spirits to have a Denomination of Origin, meaning that it must be made in a specific region and under strict guidelines.
There are three variants of Pisco: puro, or single grape expression; acholado, or blend of two or more grapes, and Mosto Verde, a style of making a puro or an acholado in which the must (or juice of the pressed grapes) is partially fermented.
All Piscos must be crafted with one or a blend of the allowed eight grape varietals. The eight grapes are divided into aromatics and non-aromatic varietals. Aromatics contain a high concentration of fragrant compounds in their skins called terpenes, while non-aromatics contain low levels. Each varietal adds its own unique flavor and aroma to Pisco.
How Geography and Soil of the Ica Valley Affect the Grapes
Terroir: Noun; pr: ter’ wär; French; land, from medieval Latin terratorium The complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.
Terroir plays a critical role in pisco production, and it is the synergy of climate, location, geography, and soil that creates the quality and uniqueness of every pisco. While it encompasses the land and geography, the producer’s skills also play a critical role in everything from choosing correct rootstocks, configuring and orienting plants, correctly trellising the vines, pruning them, managing the canopy, controlling pests, and picking and making the product. The Ica Valley, where Hacienda La Caravedo is located and one of the regions designated for pisco production, is uniquely suited to growing some of the finest and highest quality pisco grapes.
Hacienda La Caravedo
Production and Technique
A Techno-Artisanal Distillery
At Hacienda La Caravedo, we take great pride in producing the finest Peruvian Piscos and honoring both the land and tradition. We craft our Pisco with estate-owned grapes in a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to environmental stewardship, and we employ traditional techniques that honor centuries of artisanal craftsmanship.
Our Master Distiller, Johnny Schuler, is the foremost pisco expert in the world and a recipient of Peru’s Congressional Medal of Honor for his work to promote pisco and uphold Peruvian culture and tradition. His artistry and deep experience create unique piscos that are versatile, mixable and the finest expression of their Andean terroir.
Production at a Glance
Hacienda La Caravedo comprises approximately 80 hectares of estate-owned vineyards that provide the grapes used to make our piscos. It is also positioned on a dry riverbed, providing the best soil for growing grapes. We control the pisco making process at every step–from vine to bottle–and ensure the highest quality in each batch.
Because of our location in the Southern Hemisphere, Peru’s seasonality is the opposite of that of North American. The harvest, including a special festival called Vendimia, occurs in March. The harvest is a time-honored ritual and all our grapes are gently picked by hand to preserve their quality.
After the harvest, the vines recover and are pruned starting in June, ensuring their vigor, vitality, and continuing the cycle of pisco production.
Picking, Pressing, and Fermenting
After the harvest, the grapes are gently pressed, fermented, distilled, rested and bottled. At Hacienda La Caravedo, we use the flow of gravity to move the must (the juice of the grape) from the pressing stage through its resting period in order to ensure the gentlest treatment of the pisco. This preserves its natural flavor and aroma and ensures our piscos are uniquely authentic.
Our distillery is “techno-artisanal”, meaning that we combine traditional and state-of-the-art processes to craft Piscos in the finest expression of their Andean terroir.
Distilling, Resting, Bottling
Distillation is the critical step that turns wine into pisco. At Hacienda La Caravedo, we use both the original falcas and French and German-made pot stills. Under the law, we use 100% copper stills and distill only once, always to proof. Meaning that no water is added to the final product. Our Caravedo Mosto Verde and Caravedo Acholado are distilled to 86 proof. The Caravedo expressions are distilled to 80 proof.
During the resting cycle, the Pisco evolves its flavors and aromas in a non-reactive container. Our Caravedo Mosto Verde rests for a minimum of a year before being bottled, while the rest of the expressions are rested for six months.
Honoring the Land
Our Commitment to the Land and Nature
At Hacienda La Caravedo, we take steps to honor the land and the environment which include the following:
At Hacienda La Caravedo, honoring the land and respecting nature is extremely important to us. Nature provides us with the finest grapes. To repay the debt, we conserve and preserve the quality of the land, air, and water at all touchpoints. This is our fundamental philosophy so that we provide the pure spirit of the grape and land in every bottle.