The wind blows gently over the slopes of the Fundo la Portada grape farm in the south of Ica, Peru. »Ica is the city of eternal summer,« says Jose Luminares, grape grower and master of many exciting new grape varieties. »Ica offers the perfect weather for our little new treasures. It’s always warm, nice and dry, and then there’s the sun.«
In Ica, on the edge of the desert and about 300 km south of the capital Lima, Jose’s quality experts constantly check that everything is going according to plan. And it is. This is because the climate makes it easy for the experts. But much of what happens on the plantations is hand-on work. The fruits, especially if they are new varieties, are checked regularly. Their sweetness has to be tested and the leaves have to be thinned out so that the vines get enough sunlight.
But that’s not the end of it. In Ica, Jose and his team also rely on high tech, such as the sophisticated irrigation system. Probes in the ground measure exactly how much water the grapes need and when. »This not only saves us valuable water, but also allows us to make our sweet grapes even sweeter,« Jose says with a laugh.
Jose is particularly proud of two new varieties from Ica. A dark and seedless variety and a light variety. The dark one is harvested in the first week of January and is particularly popular in