Pisco is a type of brandy, a spirit distilled from wine as opposed to the pomace leftover from wine production. Only four [brandies] are made from wine—Cognac, Armagnac, Brandy de Jerez and Pisco.
More specifically, pisco can be made from eight varietals, including the non-aromatic grapes which the Spanish originally brought over with them for wine production—Quebranta, Negra Criolla, Uvina and Mollar, and the aromatic grapes—Moscatel, Torontel, Italia and Albilla.
Pisco must be made in one of five coastal valley regions of Peru, including Ica, Lima, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna. With cold coastal waters coming up from Antarctica, and the Andes mountains to the east, the region in between is largely devoid of clouds and rain. This develops extremely sweet grapes.
Pisco, by law, can only be distilled once, in a copper pot still to a proof between 38 and 48% and never stored in oak.
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