When the Founders began their search for their vineyards, they found a perfect location in the District of Guadalupe Salas in Ica Valley 150 miles south of Lima. This region is ideal for growing grapes as the Ica Valley produced piscos and wines for hundreds of years. Ica has a dry desert climate, low relative humidity, low rainfall, plenty of sunshine, with good gradient temperatures during the day and night.
The vineyards are situated on sandy loam soil that gives our products unique characteristics. A gravity drip irrigation system is used on the vines and the irrigation is regulated in order to consistently produce high quality grapes. Only natural fertilizers are used and the vineyard practices provide for sustainable agriculture. Viejo Tonel’s vineyards cover over 35 acres where Moscatel, Torontel, Albilla, Quebranta and Italia grapes exclusively for our Piscos.
Viejo Tonels’s vines were selected for the quality of their fruit and are harvested in March or early April. The grapes are harvested by hand once they have reached the desired sugar content levels. The harvesting is done with much care so as to not mistreat the grapes. The workers start at 5 in the morning and work until dusk. The grapes are carried to the distillery in plastic boxes where they are weighed and de-stemmed by hand. The fruit is then squeezed, separating the juice from the skin and the juice (must) flows into fermentation tanks. After the fermentation process is complete, the must is then distilled and the Pisco must sit in repose before it is bottled.
After the harvest, the vineyards are left bare and fruitless. During this time, the vines are at rest and are regaining their strength for the next year. In early August, the vines are pruned taking into account if the moon is new, waxing, full and waning. This is important because it will determine the quality, health, and future growth of the vines, which combined with the climate, water and soil must be managed correctly to produce quality Pisco every year. From November to March the grapes begin to grow and mature for the next harvest and are carefully managed.