There are five main features distinguishing true Piscos from grape brandys made outside Peru.
The grape variety used as raw material: One of the most important differences between the genuine Pisco and foreign brandys is that the grape used for its preparation -artisan and industrial- is not limited to the aromatic grape "Moscatel". Actually, the emphasis is put on the flavor or in the aroma. This is why the most common grape types are "Quebranta" (a typically Peruvian mutation) and, in less percentage, the Normal Black and the Mollar, which are non-aromatic varieties.
Non-rectification of steams: The distillation process used for preparing Pisco is carried out in distilleries or small stills of non-continuous operation, not in continuous distilleries. Thus, the constituting elements of the genuine Pisco will not be removed at the time of rectifying steams produced at its distillation.
- Time between fermentation of musts and distillation process: According to the definition of Pisco, this beverage is obtained from the distillation of recently fermented "fresh" musts. This type of process avoids recently fermented musts to remain stagnant for several months before being distilled or used for mature wines. Nowadays, distilleries for preparing Pisco should meet the requirements required by the Committee of Supervision of Technical Regulations, Metrology, Quality Control and Tariff restrictions of the National Institute for the Protection of Intellectual Property and Free Competition (INDECOPI).
- No aggregate is included: In Peru, the distillation process is not suspended until obtaining the alcoholic Pisco at levels of 42° - 43° degrees Gay-Lusac. No distilled or treated water is added with the purpose of changing its consistency, color and other features that make it a distinctive product.
- Process to obtain the established alcoholic content:When distillation of fresh musts starts, the alcoholic contents of the distilled product is high, reaching 75° degrees Gay-Lusac approximately. As the process continues, the alcoholic content decreases, thus, allowing other constituting elements of Pisco to make up the brandy. According to the skills and tradition of the Peruvian "pisquero", this process lasts until the alcoholic content decreases to about 42° or 43°, sometimes decreasing to 38° degrees Gay-Lusac.
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