Last year I visited 5 distilleries in Peru with Pisco Porton (read about that visit here and here): Vinas de Oro, Tres Generaciones, Lovera, Hotel El Carmello, and La Caravedo where Porton is made. This post is about my visit to Vinas de Oro in the region of Chincha, Peru.
Chincha is a pisco-producing town south of Lima, on the way to Ica where all the other Peruvian distilleries I visited are located.
Vinas de Oro opened in 1983. According to Porton's distiller Johnny Schuler, Vinas De Oro's distiller began with a 5-liter still and now is in charge of this big operation of 8 alembic-style stills. (Older distilleries tend to have falca stills.)
We visited the distillery near the end of the grape harvest. Workers were picking grapes off the vines in front of the distillery. According to the website, they grow, "seven types of Pisco grapes (aromatic: Italia, moscatel, torontel, albilla and non aromatic: quebranta, common black and mollar)."
After the grapes are harvested, they are de-stemmed (to avoid tannins that would get magnified during distillation), then pressed with a bladder press to release the must (juice). The must is given a rough filtration.
The juice is fermented for about 10 days (no yeast is added), so that it reaches around 10% ABV. The fermentation temperature is kept low (around 15 degrees Celsius) in order to retain aromatics from the grapes.
The wine is then distilled one time, as is the law. The pisco then rests for at least 10 months in stainless steel tanks.
The distillery bottles 6 puro piscos (individual grape varietals) and an acholado (blend). They also make mosto verde piscos, for which the grapes are not fully fermented before distillation to make the flavor fuller. They make mosto verde pisco out of three of their grape varietals.
The brand's website is here.