A quality Pisco must be produced with a large quantity of quality grapes. For non-aromatic Piscos such as Quebranta, Viejo Tonel use 13 pounds of grapes per bottle. For aromatic Piscos such as Italia, 15 pounds of grapes are used per bottle. For the Mosto Verde variety, 21 pounds of grapes are used per bottle. Very few pisco distillers use the quantity and quality of grapes that Pisco Viejo Tonel does.
Viejo Tonel is committed to sustainable agriculture and works in partnership with SENASA (National Service of Agrarian Health) for the ecological control of fruit flies and other pests. Only organic fertilizers are used and we utilize wild falcons that live and breed in trees within the estate to control birds that would damage the drops. Similarly the spent skins, leaves and stalks are returned to the soil.
To begin the distillation process, the fermented mash is loaded into the copper still and heated only by natural gas. The resulting vapor is then cooled and condenses into liquid. The initial part of the resulting liquid is called the head, cannot be used and is discarded. The second part of the liquid is called the body or the heart of the Pisco which will bottled into the final product. The third part of the output is called the tail and is also discarded. This process takes eight hours and requires constant observation and monitoring to ensure a quality product. The Pisco then rests in tanks for months before bottling is commenced. Mastering this process is an ageless art form. Pisco Viejo Tonel has perfected it as evidenced by the countless awards it has won
The distillation process for Pisco Mosto Verde is like that of any other Pisco with minor exceptions. The difference is that at the time of distillation, the fermented juice has not completed the fermentation process meaning that all the sugar has not been converted to alcohol. This process also requires a much greater quantity of grapes, but results in an exquisite, subtle and smooth Pisco.