Viticulture in Peru and The Humboldt Current
Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Most of the world’s premium wine production takes place between the 30th and 50th parallels of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, where temperate conditions are conducive to grape growing. In these areas, grapevines generally thrive in warm, dry locations with distinct seasonal changes. Peru is located in the Tropic of Capricorn, so it is a tropical country. Making wine in tropical regions can be challenging. Heavy rain and humidity can promote diseases in vines and constant high temperatures can make it difficult to achieve a balanced wine.
In past blog posts we have discussed the unique location of Apu Winery- our vineyards reach 3,300 meters in the Andes, where temperatures should technically be freezing and harsh. However, our proximity to the jungle offsets the extreme conditions of the altitude by warming temperatures and moistening the air.
There is yet another factor that provides more ideal conditions for grape growing in Peru, an oceanographic phenomenon called the Humboldt Current. The Humboldt Current is a cold ocean current that flows north along the western coast of South America. It extends from southern Chile to northern Peru, bringing frigid waters from the south, cooling the ocean & creating dry, chilled air. This is why the Peruvian coastline is so arid. Where a dense jungle would normally lie, sand dunes and cacti line the coasts, creating very favorable wine-making conditions. Although Apu Winery is not located on the coast, the Humboldt Current affects the entire country of Peru, cooling the tropical temperatures and tempering humidity. We believe this is yet another factor that not only makes winemaking in Peru possible, but even more beneficial conditions in the Curahuasi Valley.