Apu, A Divine Wine
Apu is a divine-inspired winery.
I am an economist with an MBA and my career was in finance, but I always felt called by the world of wine. I first studied to be a sommelier. During that exploration, I realized that I felt an ethereal connection with wine. Whenever I drank it, I felt elevated to a higher spiritual level. These experiences made me more conscious of divine manifestations and fueled my desire to start a vineyard.
I chose the name Apu for two reasons. First, because it means mountain in Quechua. My vineyards are on a mountain with a slope of more than 30 degrees. When you stand among the rows of vines at these significant heights, you feel like you are on top of the world. I wanted to portray that feeling through the name of my wine.
The Incas also felt that deep connection with the majestic Andean peaks. Their admiration was so great that the mountains (Apus in Quechua) were sacred divinities to whom they prayed for the welfare of their entire empire. The apus were forces that guided, protected and ensured fruitful harvests. Quechua-speakers still pray to the Apus today, proof that they are an integral part of their spirituality, a spirituality that I feel deeply connected to here.
I never intended to come to Curahuasi, but a divine hand led me to the wonderful slopes of Tarales-Pisonaypata, at 2850 meters above sea level. Every step I took, I came across invaluable information that helped lay the foundation for my dream. First I discovered that some of the first wine grapes were planted in this area during the expansion of grapevines in Peru between 1540-1550. Although the Spanish were responsible for bringing the first grapevines to South America, it was the indigenous people, those inspired by the Apus, whose agricultural and engineering expertise, made viticulture possible in Peru.
Initially I did not see the incredible potential of my land. However, one day I woke up with the inspiration that this was the ideal place. I analyzed the soils, temperature and climate and discovered that it had the perfect terroir to make a high quality wine. I wasn't aware at the time, but in hindsight, I now see that someone or something from beyond was guiding me and helping me formulate my vision for this project.
Because of that awakening, my grapes are now thriving in the Curahuasi Valley, a privileged place for growing plants due to its climate and the physical conditions. Apu reflects the climate of the Andes, where rivers run to the Atlantic at the edge of the majestic Amazon rainforest. The drastic thermal amplitude and its deep calcareous soils make it possible to produce complex fruit.
10 years after planting the first vine, I managed to make an impressive, balanced wine with the potential to evolve many years in barrels. The first vintage opened the doors to the wonderful world of high-end wines.
To date, we have produced fragrant Sauvignon Blancs and Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon with enough potential to accompany the diverse cuisine of Peru. The 2021 vintage will be released in July 2022 and will be accompanied by 2 highly-renowned newcomers: Syrah and Tannat, 2 varieties that I planted based on advice that now seems too coincidental to be from this world.
A divine guidance inspires me every day when I wake up on this mountain. Because of it, confident that soon Apu will be among the best high altitude wines in the world.
-Fernando Gonzales Lattini
Founder, Apu Winery