THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE
A Complete Guide to the Wines and Spirits of the World
``…..The newest surprise in this roll call of regions is wine of quite startling quality from Peru. The Tacama vineyards in Ica province benefit from the cold Pacific alongside in much the same way as those of the Central California coast. Their Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc and a méthode champenoise, made with the advice of Professor Peynaud from Bordeaux, are another revelation of what the least expected quarters of the globe are learning to do."
MODERN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WINE
South and Central America
One would be forgiven for not knowing that a Peruvian wine industry existed at all. Geographically (only 10º from the Equator) and socio-economically (political turmoil coupled with hyperinflation of the past), conditions in Peru would not seem conducive to the hedonistic world of grape-growing and winemaking.
Most of the country's grapes go for distillation into the ubiquitous Pisco to make the Pisco Sour that heals away the heat and dust of the day (despite its proximity to the Equator the wine region is arid). The parched lunar landscape results from being on the wrong side of the Andes, and vines need irrigation to thrive.
One hundred and eighty miles south of Lima along the Pan American Highway lies the town of Ica, at the heart of Peru's wine region. Of the half dozen wineries located here only one so far produces wines of quality. Viña Tacama is by far the biggest, best and most important winery in Peru. It is solely owned by the Olaechea family whose French winemaker, Robert Niederman, has been at the helm for every harvest since 1961, producing good Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon and Merlot. Professor Emile Peynaud has acted as consultant here. The recent political stability has encouraged the Olaecheas to update some of their outmoded equipment, and they have now found export markets in the UK and France.
Other regions, among them the Chincha, Moquegua and Tacna, are now also making progress.
Pocket Wine Book 1997
Other Southern American wines
Perú Viña Tacama near Ica (top wine region) exports some promising wines, esp the Gran Vino Blanco white; also Cab S and classic method sparkling. Chincha Moquegua and Tacna regions are slowly making progress. But phylloxera is a serious problem."