Hurtado: Peru is the next big wine country

Adolfo Hurtado, chief winemaker of Cono Sur, has revealed he thinks Peru has the potential to be the world’s next big wine region and is looking for vineyard land in the country.

“Peru has the same high altitude and ocean influence as Chile, I’d love to make wine there,” he told the drinks business.

“Peru has no frost and in many parts is desert-like and dry, the same as northern Chile. It’s such an interesting country with great winemaking potential,” he added.

Hurtado revealed that he has made a number of trips to the country in search of vineyard land, but has yet to buy anything.

If he were to make wine there, he says he would stick to the country’s native grapes over international varieties.

Martin Morales, the half-Peruvian, half-British founder of newly-opened Peruvian restaurant Ceviche in Soho, is equally fired up about Peruvian wine and keen to add a couple to his list.

“I’ve got my eye on a Peruvian white blend, which I’m desperately trying to get into the UK to show Londoners what Peru can do in terms of winemaking,” he told db.

“The reds need work, but some of the whites are delicious, I’m really excited about them,” he added.

There are five different vineyard regions in Peru: the North Coast, the Central Coast, the South Coast, the Andean Sierra and the Selva.

Vineyards at Tacama in Ica

Of the 11,000 hectares of vineyards in the country, the most important lie in the Central and South Coast where the best known wines, like Tacama, Vista Alegre and Ocucaje are produced.

The coastal region of Peru is desert, intersected by a series of valleys flowing from the Andes down to the sea.

The best vines are grown in these fertile irrigated areas, which benefit from the cool currents of offshore air that rise up into the vineyards.

The essential balance between the humidity and daily contrasts in temperature provide exceptional vine growing conditions.

Hurtado meanwhile, also aims to make his winery, Cono Sur, the second biggest wine brand in Chile after Casillero de Diabolo in terms of global recognition.

The brand is relaunching its Bicycle, Reserva and Visión ranges with new packaging, as Hurtado felt the message behind the wines “wasn’t clear enough.”

The company is also adding a Malbec and Pinot Grigio to its Bicycle range.

“I’m really excited about the Malbec – it’s a deep purple colour, almost black, and is concentrated and full of sweet black fruit like an Argentinian Malbec,” he said.

3 Responses to “Hurtado: Peru is the next big wine country”

  1. Dear Ms. Shaw,

    My wife and I, both Americans and semi-retired, moved to Mendoza Province four years ago and began to develop 108-acres into vineyards. To date we have planted nearly 60-acres.

    Economics is always an integral part of any business and the vineyard/wine business is no exception, i.e. the cost of land and planting vineyards are two of the most determinative factors.

    My question is simple, from your research do you have any indications of what one hectare of vineyard land costs and the concomitant infrastructure and planting costs for a one hectare vineyard. Obviously larger scale vineyards would bring down the costs but I am looking for a just a guesstimate. Also, the cost per hectare of an existing up and running vineyard would also be helpful.


    Tom Phelan
    La Vida Buena VIneyards

  2. Gregory Smith says:

    Dear Lucy,

    I read your article about Peru wine country this morning. What great news! Indeed, after moving here from the US five years ago I realized that Peru does have fine wine potential, but it just hasn’t been exploited yet. I think some of the wineries here could definitely improve their wines if they improved their infrastructure and focused more on wine making, and it’s refreshing to see that an international winemaker has taken notice.

    We at Lima London are also actively exploring the possibility of importing more Peruvian wines into the UK market as well as increasing the brands of Pisco available. Few people outside Peru (and most Peruvians for that matter) know the magic of truly fine Pisco or understand that the best way to enjoy fine Pisco is NOT mixed in a cocktail. We hope to show this to our patrons in the UK!


  3. Cliff says:

    A few years ago I moved to just out side of Pacasmayo Peru in the north about 700 km north of lima, what I discovered was that we are able to get two crops a year here contrary to any other place I know of, that in its self should be of interest to wine makers as production is Dbl in one year, we are growing italian white grapes and the wine is excelent,
    We are now trying other varities and hope to be able to take advantage of everything Peru,s north has to offer.

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