• Apu Winery

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Grape rootstocks provide resistance to diseases and pests, promote a more extensive root system and improve tolerance of calcareous soils (Perry and Sabbatini). Because of their indispensable influence on the future success of vines, we carefully select rootstocks that will best adapt to our vineyards.

The great majority of the vines we imported from France were grafted with the Fercal rootstock. Genetic analysis showed this variety is a cross between Berlandieri Colombard #1 B and 31 Richter, as seen below:

In addition to being one of the most adequate for limestone soils, the Fercal rootstock is also resistant to chlorosis, downy mildew and anthracnosis. It moderately protects against gallicolae phylloxera and has a very high tolerance to radicicolae phylloxera.

We don't know of any availability of the Fercal rootstock in South America; the majority of grapevines with this graft are located in France. Planted over an estimated surface area of 30,000 hectares, vines with this graft are found in Champagne, Aquitaine, Charentes, Alsace, Midi-Pyrénées, Val de Loire, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon and Rhône-Alpes (Barbe).

We believe that with the Fercal variety, our new grapevines will thrive in our limestone soils. Selecting the best rootstocks, tending to each and every vine, hand picking the best grapes- all are part of the meticulous viticultural process at our winery.


Julien, Barbe. “Catalogue of Vines Grown in France.” Plant Grape, plantgrape.plantnet-project.org/en/porte-greffe/Fercal.

Perry, Ron, and Paolo Sabbatini. “Grape Rootstocks for Michigan.” MSU Extension, www.canr.msu.edu/grapes/viticulture/grape-rootstocks-for-michigan.

  • Apu Winery

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

View of the Apurímac River

Every year, thousands of tourists flock to Peru to experience Pre-Columbian ruins and culinary adventures. While Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley tend to be the focus of these excursions, we would like to tout the qualities of Apurímac, Cusco’s neighboring region. Apu Winery is located in the heart of Apurímac, only 2 hours from Cusco. With lush jungles, ruins and majestic mountains and rivers, there are plenty of things to see and do in Apurímac. Our favorites are listed below.

Capitán Rumi

30 minutes away from Apu Winery and just above the town of Curahuasi lies Capitán Rumi, a 120 ton monolith with a human-like face. From the top of Capitán Rumi, you can see views of the Apurimac River Canyon, which borders Cusco and Apurimac. The view and the rock’s appearance, however, aren’t what make it so remarkable. Capitán Rumi seems to be balancing precariously on the cliff, on the verge of tumbling 1,000 meters to the river below. The site also consists of other massive stones that seem to be strategically placed in a formation all the way down to the outskirts of Curahuasi.


Another important monolith is found among the ruins of Sayhuite, a site of religious worship for the Incas. The stone is perhaps the most important feature of these ruins, as it served as a map and educational tool for the Incas. It has more than 200 carvings of animals and hydraulic models. Sayhuite is believed to have been an Incan religious center, where rituals and worshipping of water were conducted.


To access Choquequirao, you leave from Cachora, a small town near Curahuasi. This lesser known "lost city" is three times the size of Machu Picchu, but only 30% of it has been uncovered from the dense jungle that encompasses it. The trek begins in Apurímac, but ends in the Cusco region, where Choquequirao is located on the border of both regions. To get to these ruins, you must hike for 2 days, descending 1,500 meters down the Apurimac River Valley and then back up to 3,050 meters. Nobody knows why the Incas built Choquequirao, but the magnificent structures rival those of its smaller counterpart, Machu Picchu.

So now you know. Apurímac has so much more to offer than just craft, high-altitude Peruvian wine. We hope you have the opportunity to visit these hidden gems on your next trip to the Peruvian Andes.

  • Apu Winery

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

Salkantay Peak

Many people ask us what “Apu” means and why we chose the name for our Peruvian wine. Apu is a Quechua word for sacred mountain or mountain spirit. Since the time of the Incas, locals in the Andes have prayed to their apus. The word does not refer to the physical mountain ("orqo" in quechua), but instead the mystical god that receives prayers or offerings in exchange for protection and successful harvests.

The word “apu” is deeply rooted in the traditions and beliefs of the Andean culture. Although people typically pray to the apu that is closest to their crops, they may also pay homage to the most impressive gargantuan peaks of the Andes. For the descendants of the Incas, the taller the mountain, the more sacred it is. Some of the most famous apus in Peru are: Huascarán (6,768m), Ausangate (6,384m) and Salkantay (6,271m). We are fortunate to have breathtaking views of Salkantay and Kiswar/Padreyoc (5,771m) from our vineyards.

We chose the name Apu for our craft wine for many reasons. First, we wanted to honor the beliefs and spirituality of the locals of the Curahuasi Valley. It is our way of showing respect and admiration of their connection to nature. The name is also a nod the Inca culture that greatly impacted Peru. In fact, we use some of the agricultural practices developed by the Incas here at Apu, including irrigation and terracing. We will elaborate on both of those methods in a future blog post.

From our vineyards, we have incredible views of the Curahuasi Valley, complemented by a magnificent backdrop of some of Peru’s most famous apus. The peaks loom over and protect this lush microclimate, making it a hospitable place for grapes. It’s very fitting that our high-altitude wine, made in one of the highest wineries in the world, is named after the most powerful spirit of the Inca. If you take one look at the beauty of the Andean mountain peaks, you won’t wonder why the Incas considered these astounding mountains powerful deities.

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