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It is clear that we have many unique challenges at Apu Winery, as the thin air, intense sunlight, and extreme temperature fluctuations impact the health and productivity of our vines. To combat these challenges, we have implemented a number of sustainable practices, including using guinea pig (known as “cuy” in Peru) manure as fertilizer.

Guinea pigs have long been a staple of the Peruvian diet and economy, and they are commonly raised in rural households throughout the country. Their manure is rich in nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are essential for plant growth. For centuries, Peruvian farmers have used guinea pig manure to fertilize their crops, and now, we are following suit.

We collect the guinea pig manure from local households and compost it for several months before being spread in the vineyard. The composting process helps to eliminate any pathogens or harmful bacteria that may be present in the manure, while also breaking down the organic matter and releasing the nutrients that the vines need.

Since implementing this practice, we have seen improved soil health and increased grape yields. The manure helps to improve the soil's water retention, allowing the vines to better withstand the arid conditions. Additionally, the nutrients in the manure help to nourish the vines and promote healthy growth.

In conclusion, using guinea pig manure as fertilizer in a high-altitude vineyard in Peru is a sustainable and effective way to improve soil fertility and promote healthy plant growth. It is a traditional practice that has been used for generations and is now being rediscovered as a valuable tool in modern agriculture. By incorporating this natural fertilizer into our farming practices, we will continue to produce high-quality grapes and world-class wines for generations to come.

The Cantalloc Aqueducts, located in the Nazca region of Peru, are an ancient engineering marvel that date back to over 1,500 years ago. These aqueducts were built by the Nazca civilization to transport water from underground springs to their agricultural fields. The ingenuity and skill used to build the aqueducts have fascinated historians and engineers for centuries, and their principles are still being applied today in modern water management.

The Nazca civilization built these aqueducts using a combination of underground and above ground channels. The underground channels were constructed by digging deep trenches and lining them with stone slabs to prevent water loss due to seepage. The above ground channels, on the other hand, were built on elevated embankments to provide a gravity-based flow of water. These channels were designed to be very narrow to reduce evaporation, which helped in conserving water during the dry season.

One of the most remarkable features of the Cantalloc Aqueducts is the spiral design of the above ground channels. The Nazca engineers built spiral-shaped stone towers at intervals along the channels, which served as access points for maintenance and allowed the water to flow in a circular pattern. This design also helped regulate the flow of water, preventing flooding during the rainy season.

Today, the principles of the Cantalloc Aqueducts are still being applied in modern water management. One of the most significant applications is in the design of irrigation systems. The use of underground channels to prevent water loss due to seepage and the construction of elevated channels to provide gravity-based flow are still widely used in modern irrigation systems. Similarly, the use of narrow channels to reduce evaporation and the regulation of water flow to prevent flooding are also commonly applied. Here at Apu, we considered their gravity flow systems when designing the channels that bring water to our vineyards.

In conclusion, the Cantalloc Aqueducts are a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the Nazca civilization. Their principles are still being applied today in modern water management and engineering projects. The use of underground and elevated channels, narrow channels to reduce evaporation, and regulation of water flow to prevent flooding are all techniques that have stood the test of time. The spiral design of the aqueducts has also inspired modern innovations, such as the spiral water turbine. The Cantalloc Aqueducts are a prime example of how ancient engineering can continue to influence and inspire modern technology.

  • Writer's pictureApu Winery

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