For The Karikuy blog, Lani Conway explores the vineyards of Ica. She says some people say Peruvian wine is just not that good compared to those of Chile and Argentina. Will wine tasting at several bodegas change her mind?
A new verse was added to my Peruvian adventure in Ica — a coastal desert town located 195 miles south of Lima and flanked by jutting Andes and miles of mountain-like sand dunes. Although the Ica Valley is widely known for its selection of bodegas and wine vineyards, Peru as a whole has yet to make it on the international viniculture stage. But that’s slowly changing. Since the political chaos of the 1980s, Peru has amped up its dedication to wine making, giving it the opportunity to make a run for best South American wine exporter. However, most people argue that Peruvian wine is just not that good — Maybe a tour of some of Ica’s bodegas will change your mind.Our tour of Ica Valley’s wineries started in Huacachina, a nearby desert “oasis” filled with local artisans, tourists, and a mysterious lake with just as mysterious a legend. From there, we made our first stop at the award-winning Bodega Tacama, Peru’s number one wine exporter. The ride was a short seven mile taxi drive from town, down a narrow dirt road lined with skinny sunbathing dogs, shabby one story houses and of course rows of grape vines.
We made it to Tacama’s Spanish-styled hacienda, complete with red washed walls, archways, and a bell tower crowned with the Holy Cross. Sitting around a small wooden table on mini wine barrel chairs, we started our wine tasting session with several generous pours of their semi dry whites, rosés and darker reds (tintos). Our favorite was the Amore de Ica, an exclusive grape concoction with hints of fruity strawberries that left a warm loving feeling way long after it had been consumed. We were offered pour after pour, with little introduction, save for the small leather bound dossier filled with brief descriptions and wine pricing.