Apu- (the nectar of) the Peruvian Mountain Gods
Updated: May 22
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.