Ica Wine region in Peru

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February 25th 2010
Published: February 25th 2010
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Ok, so Peru isn't exactly known for its wine. In fact, it is known for Pisco (though Chileans will argue that they make it best). Pisco is an alcohol that slightly resembles tequila and makes the infamous drink, "pisco sour." If you go to the small town of Pisco (near Ica), you can go to Pisco distilleries and try various types of the alcohol. You can also take a trip to Ica to try the wine from that region. I'm warning you though - Ica is where the huge earthquake hit in 2007 and is still in shambles - a very sad story. However, if you want to try the "best" Peruvian wine, it's the place to be. (The wine has a unique 'sweet' taste to it - it's very hit or miss, some people love it, others do not).

Still, to be honest, I would rather check out the vineyards in Chile. Has anyone been? Or even Argentina. Too bad I haven't been to any of those places yet. I'll just stick with what I know in Peru and share with you my experiences in the 'wine region' in Ica. It's not a reason to go to Peru, but if you find yourself in Peru with a few extra days to spare, it's definitely worth the 5 hour trip south from Lima.

Ica is great because.... not just because of the so-so wine....but because there's lots of other interesting things to do in the region. Nearby is Paracas, which is a small island with lots of bird life and sea lions (I'm talking thousands) - it's also known as the Poor Man's Galapagos Islands. Definetly worth checking out though. Lots of fish in the area = great ceviche.

Also, make sure to check out the Nazca lines which are quite close by. If you've seen Indiana Jones you know what I'm talking about. They're the lines created into the sandy desert that form gigantic images that can only be seen from above - ie. for God, aliens, or foreign tourists in small airplanes 😊 I definitely recommend it - only about $60 to go in a 4-seater plane to see the images.

Oh - also close to the Ica wine region is Huacachina - a lagoon in the middle of a sand desert - you can go sandboarding! I hurt myself pretty bad on the first day so on the second day I went in the dune-buggy... omg I have never screamed so hard in my life!!!!
Beware - you will feel like you have sand all over your body for like the next week. But it's worth it.

Check out the Ica wine region! (but don't drink too much wine until you go to Chile... it's better there apparently...)

Ok so major wine regions of the world: Ontario (ha ha ha... I'm not kidding though), California, Western France, Peru/Chile/Argentina..... where else?? I would also like to go to Portugal, Spain, Italy....... any other suggestions?

also........ check out the:
Ica Wine Festival
I just looked it up online just on the Peruvian tourism page - it runs for a week or so in Mid-March (changes every year). Unfortunately I wasn't in Ica that time of year, but it always pays to visit places during the fesivals, especially in Peru! The festivals really are fantastic. But make sure you book accomodation a couple weeks in advance - may fill up pretty fast. Not sure if I'm allowed to copy&paste here so I'll paraphrase - but on the site it says that the area has produced grapes for a very long time due to its warm coastal climate and secluded location. Although most of the grapes are used to make Pisco (which is a grape brandy apparently - doesn't taste like that to me!!!), they also harvest some red wine. There is some African-influenced dance during the festival "el festejo" and there is a large pageant and competitions for the best grapes/wine/pisco. And make sure you eat the delicious bbq meats and potatoes to go with your beverage. (ie try anticuchos... won't tell you what it is until after you eat it.... muhahha)


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