• Apu Winery

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

Sangiovese is absent from Wine Folly’s “The 10 Most Popular Wines in the World” list. If it isn’t one of the world's most sought-after grape varieties, why did we choose to plant Sangiovese vines at our vineyards at 2,850 meters above sea level?

We recognized the similarities between our limestone soils and the Albarese (clay-limestone) soils found in the Chianti region. Sangiovese, the oldest appellation in Tuscany, comprise more than 60% of the vines there (Tuscany). Also, it has been noted that the best Sangiovese vineyards are located on hills at higher elevations (Schiessl). Taking these similarities into consideration, we decided to plant this Italian variety to see how they would adapt to the slopes and our terroir.

Luckily for us, our Sangiovese vines quickly adapted to the argilo-calcaire soils on our steep slopes, giving us a full-bodied wine with hints of black cherry, strawberry and butterscotch. It may not surprise you that it’s a perfect match with Italian food, but we recommend you try it with Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado and rocoto relleno. In a few months we will release our 2019 harvest. We look forward to seeing how our Sangiovese evolves as our plants age.

Works Consulted:

Puckette, Madeline. “The 10 Most Popular Wines in the World.” Wine Folly, 26 June 2019, winefolly.com/review/the-10-most-popular-wines-in-the-world/.

Schiessl, Courtney. “Our Complete Guide To Sangiovese From Tuscany: Sangiovese Guide.” VinePair, 18 Aug. 2017, vinepair.com/articles/complete-sangiovese-wine-guide/.

“Tuscany.” SevenFifty Daily, 6 Oct. 2017, daily.sevenfifty.com/regions/tuscany/.

  • Apu Winery

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

Last month we discussed how our calcium-carbonate rich (CaCO3) soils provide innumerable benefits here at Apu Winery. We would like to explore this subject more, focusing on how the pH and nutrients of our limestone soils affect the acidity (and therefore the general flavor and quality) of our Peruvian high-altitude wine.

Our soils have a pH between 7.8 and 8, which means they are moderately alkaline. Alkaline soils, especially calcareous alkaline soils, tend to produce grapes with higher acidity. As Jon Iverson states in "Home Winemaking Step by Step", most grapes should have a pH between 3.2 and 3.4 (35) when picked. With the assistance of our soils, our grapes easily reach the desired pH before harvest. For example, last October, at peak ripeness, our 2018 Sangiovese grapes measured a pH of 3.32. We can thank the crumbly layers of earth that provide a habitat for our roots and vines for this.

Calcareous soils cause acidity in grapes and wine in a couple of ways. First, calcareous soils don’t retain heat and therefore have lower temperatures than other types of soils. Because of this cooler temperature, the grapes ripen more slowly, allowing them to develop perfect ratios of sugar and acidity. Second, calcareous soils are high in calcium but low in other nutrients such as potassium. It has been shown that the combination of low potassium and high calcium produces grapes and wines with optimum acidity (Tablas).

Calcareous soils not only lack potassium, but also tend to lack nitrogen, phosphorous, zinc and iron (Management). We add these nutrients to our drip irrigation system to ensure the plants get what they need to produce healthy, robust grapes for our high altitude wine.


Iverson, Jon. Home Winemaking, Step-by-Step: a Guide to Fermenting Wine Grapes. Stonemark Pub. Co., 2009.

“Management of Calcareous Soils.” Calcareous Soils | FAO SOILS PORTAL | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, www.fao.org/soils-portal/soil-management/management-of-some-problem-soils/calcareous-soils/en/.

“Why Limestone Matters for Wine Grape Growing.” Tablas Creek Vineyard Blog, 26 May 2010, tablascreek.typepad.com/tablas/2010/05/why-limestone-matters-for-viticulture.html.

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle