Purple Palate Blog

Pisco- The South American battle for naming rights


Pisco is a grape brandy made in South America, in Chile and Peru.

There is a long dispute over the use of the name.

Each country Pisco is different from the other, but they do have the same element in common, both are very aromatic varietal particularly different types of Muscat, making them perfumed and floral.


Raw Materials

Peruvian Pisco is made from 8 different varietals, divided in Aromatic and Non Aromatic, while Chilean Pisco is made from 11 varietals (many of which differ from Peru).



Peruvian Pisco macerates the skins to enhance aromas, then is distilled to 38-48%ABV in batches in pot stills.

Chilean Pisco is distilled similiarly but is distilled to 73%ABV.


Post Distillation

Peruvian Pisco is rested for 3 months in inert vessels and wood aging is not permitted, and nothing maybe added (including water). It is aimed at intense spirit that expresses the character of the grapes.

Chilean Pisco must be rested for 60 days either in inert containers or wood barrels (Rauli or Oak), maybe matured longer (a year or more). Is is then diluted before bottling.

Peruvian Pisco labelling is defined by the grape varietal and ferment.

Pisco Pura is made from a single grape

Pisco Mosto Verde, is made from wine where fermentation is artificially stopped before all sugar turned alcohol.

Pisco Acholado is made from a blend of varieties.

Chilean Pisco is defined by Alcohol level.

Tradicional- 35%ABV


Gran Pisco- 43% ABV.


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