Exploring Peruvian Wine: A Guide For Wine-Lovers Traveling to Peru

Peru is a land of many treasures, from its rich history and diverse landscapes to its culinary delights, including Peruvian wine which is steeped in colonial history. While most travelers associate Peru with its iconic Machu Picchu and the vibrant cuisine of Lima, there’s another hidden gem that’s slowly gaining recognition in the world of wine tourism – Peru’s lesser-known wine region. Kuoda, a leading tour operator in Peru, is at the forefront of promoting this offering when traveling to Peru, creating unique experiences for wine enthusiasts and curious travelers

When most people think of wine regions, places like Napa Valley in California or Bordeaux in France immediately come to mind. Peruvian wine may not yet have the international recognition these destinations do, but that’s part of what makes it so special. Tucked away in the south of the country, the vineyards of Peru offer a unique experience that is still relatively undiscovered by mainstream tourism. This means that you can explore these vineyards without the crowds that often accompany more famous wine regions. With Kuoda, you can rest assured you’re visiting the best of this undiscovered region. Reach out to us today to get started planning your trip.

History of Wine in Peru

History of Wine in Peru

Peru’s winemaking roots trace to the 16th century, initiated by Spanish Conquistadores planting grapevines for the church and locals.

Peru’s wine-making history dates back to the time of the Spanish Conquistadores in the 16th century. It was here that they first planted grapevines to produce wine for the church and the local population. The combination of native grape varieties and Spanish winemaking techniques created a distinctive and flavorful tradition that has continued to evolve over the centuries.

Grape Varieties in Peru

Peruvian wine is renowned for its use of distinctive grape varieties that are not commonly found in other parts of the world. The country boasts a rich diversity of grape varieties, with some of the most notable being:

  • Quebranta: This is the flagship grape variety of Peru and is used primarily in the production of Pisco, the famous Peruvian brandy. However, it’s also used to create a unique and robust red wine that is cherished by locals and wine enthusiasts alike.
  • Torontel: A white grape variety that is widely grown in Peru, Torontel produces aromatic and crisp white wines with hints of tropical fruits and citrus.
  • Tannat: Originally from France, the Tannat grape variety has found a home in Peru. It produces full-bodied red wines with rich tannins, making it a great option for those who love bold and robust wines.
  • Negro Criollo: An ancient grape variety native to Peru, Negro Criollo yields red wines with a unique flavor profile, often described as spicy and earthy.

The Best Types of Wines in Peru

Pisco Sour Peruvian wines

Discover Pisco, Peru’s iconic grape spirit. Indulge in its pure form or experience the renowned Pisco Sour cocktail—a Peruvian delight.

Peruvian winemakers have been producing exceptional wines, and a visit to the region wouldn’t be complete without trying some of the finest varieties. Here are some of the best types of wines to look out for:

  • Pisco: While not technically a wine, Pisco is an iconic Peruvian spirit derived from grapes. It’s worth trying both as a neat spirit and in the form of the famous Pisco Sour cocktail.
  • Peruvian Red Wines: The red wines of Peru, made from grapes like Quebranta and Tannat, are gaining international recognition for their unique character and bold flavors.
  • Peruvian White Wines: The white wines, particularly those made from Torontel and other native grape varieties, are known for their freshness and fruity aromas. They pair wonderfully with Peru’s diverse cuisine.
  • Sparkling Wines: Peru’s sparkling wines, or espumantes, are crafted using the traditional méthode champenoise. They are an excellent choice for celebrating special occasions.
  • Sweet Wines: Peru also produces exceptional sweet wines, including dessert wines made from grapes like Italia and Albilla.

Where to Go for Wine Tasting

Where to Go for Wine Tasting

Step into history at Tacama Vineyard, a South American gem dating back to 1540.

The best way to explore Peru’s wine region is through guided tours offered by experienced operators like Kuoda. These tours can provide you with access to exclusive vineyards and wineries, as well as the expertise of local guides who are passionate about sharing the secrets of Peruvian wine. Here are some of the places you should consider visiting for wine tasting:

  • Tacama Vineyard: Located in the Ica region, Tacama is one of the oldest vineyards in South America, with a history dating back to 1540. It offers a range of wine experiences and has a restaurant that pairs its wines with exquisite Peruvian cuisine.
  • Bodega Alegre Winery: This boutique winery is situated in the Ica Valley and is known for its high-quality wines. The winery offers tours and tastings that provide an intimate and personalized experience.
  • Queirolo Winery: Founded in 1880, Queirolo is a historic winery in the Pisco region. It’s not only known for its wines but also for its Pisco production. A visit here can give you a comprehensive insight into the art of distillation.
  • Lunahuaná: This picturesque valley is famous for its vineyards and the cultivation of the Quebranta grape variety. Here, you can find a range of small, family-owned wineries that offer a more rustic and authentic wine-tasting experience.

The Cuvee Collection: A Wine Experience with Kuoda

Kuoda is known for its commitment to providing personalized and unique travel experiences in Peru. Their Cuvee Collection is a series of exclusive wine and culinary tours that allow you to delve deep into Peru’s lesser-known wine region. This collection provides a variety of carefully crafted experiences, ensuring that you get the most out of your wine adventure in Peru.

Pairing Peruvian Wine with Cuisine

Causa Rellena Peruvian Food

Pair the soft texture of causa, a mashed potato dish, with a crisp and aromatic white wine for a delightful culinary experience.

Peruvian cuisine is celebrated worldwide, and its unique flavors and ingredients offer an exquisite culinary experience. When visiting the wine region, you have the opportunity to pair Peruvian wines with local dishes, enhancing the overall tasting experience. Some delightful wine and food pairings to try include:

  • Ceviche: The citrusy and refreshing nature of Peruvian white wines, such as those made from the Torontel grape, pairs wonderfully with the acidity of ceviche.
  • Anticuchos: These skewered and marinated meats go perfectly with a bold Peruvian red wine, like those made from Tannat grapes.
  • Ají de Gallina: This creamy chicken dish is complemented by a soft and fruity white wine.
  • Causa: The soft texture of causa, a mashed potato dish, is an excellent match for a crisp and aromatic white wine.
  • Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese fusion): Peruvian wine, especially sparkling wine, complements the diverse flavors of Chifa cuisine.

The Future of Peru’s Wine Region

Peru’s wine region is on the cusp of being discovered by the global wine community. The combination of unique grape varieties, a diverse terroir, and the passion of local winemakers makes this region an exciting frontier for wine enthusiasts. As the world becomes more aware of the treasures hidden in these vineyards, it’s likely that Peru’s wine industry will continue to grow and evolve.

Exploring Peru’s wine region is a journey filled with unexpected experiences, from tasting distinctive Peruvian wines to savoring the country’s rich culinary heritage. While the region may be lesser-known compared to its more famous counterparts in Argentina or Chile, this hidden gem is just waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers and wine connoisseurs. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path wine adventure, consider adding Peru’s wine country to your travel bucket list and let Kuoda be your guide to this delightful and emerging wine region – get in touch with us today to learn more about experiencing Peruvian wine on your next trip to Peru.

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