Quebrada de Ihaunco (Quebranta, Pepe Moquillaza)
Winemaker Pepe Moquillaza is on the road to revolution in Peru’s wine scene, and Quebrada de Ihuano is his first apostle. Made from the Pisco grape, Quebranta, the wine is tawny coloured with complex aromas and an attractive structure. It is unlike any other wine on the market in Peru so far, although hold on tight because this harvest he’s producing four more wines from Pisco varieties with Argentine winemaker Matias Michelini.
Don Manuel (Petit Verdot, Tacama)
Traditionally used as a backbone for blending, Petit Verdot is rarely seen alone – yet in Ica it takes on a much more approachable, yet still dark, character. A top wine from Peru’s oldest winery, Tacama, which also makes a very appealing Tannat at this level too.
Don Jorge (Ancellotta, Vista Alegre)
An unlikely Italian variety, Ancellotta works well in Ica offering a mature and ripe nose with a spicy finish and good acidity for the warmer climate here. Another long-running winery in Peru, Vista Alegre dates back to 1857. Try this with rich stew dishes.
Intipalka (Sauvignon Blanc, Viñas Queirolo)
Probably one of the brands you will most likely see outside of Peru, Intipalka is an ambitious project making some 8 million litres a year. Their Sauvignon Blanc has lots of bright citrus and white fruit making it a very quaffable white to pair with ceviche and summertime.
Vino de Arenas (Luna Negra rose, Bernardo Roca Rey)
This rose comes from the lesser-known Luna Negra variety which has been planted in a new vineyard just a few kilometers from the sea on a sand dune. The maritime influence is very present resulting in a refreshing, salty pink with attractive red fruit to balance out the characteristic salinity. Cool.
Inquebrantable 1 (Pisco, Pepe Moquillaza)
I had to pick a Pisco of course, even if it isn’t strictly wine any more. This one started out as a wine made from 100% Quebranta, and now as the producer Pepe would say – it has moved on to become a spirit in more ways than one. This Pisco is complex: fresh apples muddle with warm hay and earthy notes, the mouth is voluptuous with a savoury note and oriental spice. The smooth creaminess lulls you into a false sense of security, forgetting its high alcohol content. Drink it straight.