4 Aug 2012

Why Ica, Peru is Good for Dune Buggies and Pisco but not Wine

I, the naively optimistic wine traveler, was so excited to visit Peru's wine capital, Ica. I even signed up for a wine tour, a serious splurge. Having learned from my failed wine touring experiences in Tarija, Bolivia, I didn't want to mess this one up.
So you've never heard of Peruvian wine... that's because they don't really make any. The climate is so sweltering and sunny that all of the wines are sweet and essentially devoid of tannin and acidity. In all of Ica, only one dry wine is produced at a winery called Tacama (which was of course closed on the day I showed up). However, an ex-tour guide let me in on the secret that in order to make it, Tacama actually imports powdered grape extract from Mendoza. So I didn't miss much I presume.On the bright side Ica produces some seriously fierce Pisco. The vessels above were used for fermenting the base of pisco in the good ole days.
And the nearby suburb Huacachina is the definition of oasis... miles and miles of rolling, sand dunes with a little palm tree lined watering hole in the middle. An exhilarating past time-- rocketing over the dunes in one of these rickety buggies. It feels basically like riding a roller coaster, only any flips that occur won't be on purpose.






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