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Pisco: disputed typical drink of both Chile and Peru?

Updated on July 1, 2012
Pisco from Ocucaje's  typical costume collection.
Pisco from Ocucaje's typical costume collection. | Source
Pisco from Cañete, Peru
Pisco from Cañete, Peru
Pisco Fair There are many ways to enjoy pisco!
Pisco Fair There are many ways to enjoy pisco! | Source
PIsco is Peruvian claims this poster!
PIsco is Peruvian claims this poster! | Source
One of the Dakar 2012 stages was from Nazca to Paracas
One of the Dakar 2012 stages was from Nazca to Paracas | Source
The Paracas Candelabra
The Paracas Candelabra

Peru

Pisco is a province of the Ica region in southern Peru, about 200 km from the capital Lima. The area is typical of the coast and it is full of sand, just sand, except for the places where a river flows to the coast and then one can find some greenery. Its capital is the town of Pisco and it was there that the popular liquor of the same name had its origin, even though there is also a port, valley and river with the same name!

The typical Ocucaje collection (picture right) is the Chalán, which was featured in my hub: Chabuca Granda and the Peruvian Paso horse.

The production of pisco is possible thanks to the merger of the soil, climate and vines in the area. This exquisite spirit was savored by the Spanish Conquistadores since the grapes were first imported from the Canary Islands in the sixteenth century. Pisco is not aged, but is rested for a minimum of three months before being bottled. Its alcoholic content varies between 38% and 48%.

Pisco and its many cocktails have become famous in fashionable places around the world, so it is not surprising that it is popular in both Peru and neighboring Chile, with both countries considering it as their typical, national drink!

Paracas National Reserve
Pisco is really a Quechua word meaning bird and there are many feathered animals around, as the Paracas National Reserve is nearby. Among the gathering of birds it is easy to find pelicans, penguins, cormorants and Inca terns, but the area is also home to marine animals, like sea lions, turtles, dolpins and even whaltes! This has resulted in the area being known as the Peruvian Galapagos! The reserve also has the Islas Ballestas, a collection of islands just off the coast, where boat tours can get close, but not people.

Pisco is really a Quechua word meaning bird and there are many feathered animals around, as the Paracas National Reserve is nearby. Among the gathering of birds it is easy to find pelicans, penguins, cormorants and Inca terns, but the area is also home to marine animals, like sea lions, turtles, dolpins and even whaltes! This has resulted in the area being known as the Peruvian Galapagos! The reserve also has the Islas Ballestas, a collection of islands just off the coast, where boat tours can get close, but not people.

Pre-Inca cultures
One of the most enigmatic ground drawings on a sloping hill at Pisco Bay, is El Candelabro. It is 181 m long, but there is no evidence that it is linked to the Paracas Culture, or the Nazca Culture, which produced the famous Nazca Lines, which are not far.


Earthquake
Unfortunately, the city of Pisco was near the epicenter of a devastating 8.0-magnitude earthquake, which struck southern Peru on August 15, 2007. It is reported that 80% of the city was destroyed, including the San Clemente Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas.

Rudyard Kipling
This Noble Prize winner in literature wrote in his From Sea to Sea, "Pisco...the noblest and most beautiful product of our era...I have the theory that it is composed of little cherub wings, the glory of a tropical sunrise, the red of sunset clouds and fragments of ancient epics written by the great fallen masters."

Paracas National Reserve

Pisco is really a Quechua word meaning bird and there are many feathered animals around, as the Paracas National Reserve is nearby. Among the gathering of birds it is easy to find pelicans, penguins, cormorants and Inca terns, but the area is also home to marine animals, like sea lions, turtles, dolpins and even whaltes! This has resulted in the area being known as the Peruvian Galapagos! The reserve also has the Islas Ballestas, a collection of islands just off the coast, where boat tours can get close, but not people.

Pre-Inca cultures
One of the most enigmatic ground drawings on a sloping hill at Pisco Bay, is El Candelabro. It is 181 m long, but there is no evidence that it is linked to the Paracas Culture, or the Nazca Culture, which produced the famous Nazca Lines, which are not far.


Earthquake
Unfortunately, the city of Pisco was near the epicenter of a devastating 8.0-magnitude earthquake, which struck southern Peru on August 15, 2007. It is reported that 80% of the city was destroyed, including the San Clemente Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas.

Rudyard Kipling
This Noble Prize winner in literature wrote in his From Sea to Sea, "Pisco...the noblest and most beautiful product of our era...I have the theory that it is composed of little cherub wings, the glory of a tropical sunrise, the red of sunset clouds and fragments of ancient epics written by the great fallen masters."

Chile

The pisco growing area of this country is concentrated in the area of Elqui. My husband had the good luck to go to a conference in La Serena and he was able to visit Elqui and try some of their pisco sour, which he found similar to the Peruvian one and also to see how they destill the liquor!

Elqui Valley, La Serena, Coquimbo

Elqui Region

Grapes in Elqui Region of Chile. Notice greenery in comparison to the sand all around!
Grapes in Elqui Region of Chile. Notice greenery in comparison to the sand all around!
Pisco distillery in Elqui Region of Chile
Pisco distillery in Elqui Region of Chile
Aconcagua Mountain, 6,962 mts, in the National Aconcagua Park, near Mendoza, Argentina, close to the Chilean border.
Aconcagua Mountain, 6,962 mts, in the National Aconcagua Park, near Mendoza, Argentina, close to the Chilean border.

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