Bringing together the Belgian cocktail bar scene and the Peruvian sector of Pisco, PISCO COLLEGE (www.piscocollege.com) is a catalyser for a modern cultural exchange. This training platform is organised by the Trade, Investment and Tourism Office of Peru in Brussels and is the first of its kind in the word. It teaches Belgian bartenders, brand ambassadors, teachers, specialised journalists and other professionals of the spirits branch about the origin, the history, the characteristics and the use of the Peruvian national drink, Pisco. One year after the first session, PISCO COLLEGE can pride itself with 108 graduates that have received their Certificate that allows them to bear the title of Pisco Connoisseur on Sunday 19th of May at Hotel Sofitel Louise in Brussels.
This was also the occasion to look back on one year of PISCO COLLEGE, as the first session was organised on the 23rd of May 2018 and to launch the new branding ‘Pisco, the Spirit of Peru’. Since this date, 6 sessions have taken place and no less than 108 professionals have been trained, both in French as in Dutch. As a result of training, Belgium ranks first in the list of fastest growing markets for Pisco.
The official certificate, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) was handed out and signed by Ms Rosario Pajuelo (Director of the Trade, Investment and Tourism Office of Peru in Belgium and founder of PISCO COLLEGE), Mr Gonzalo Gutiérrez (Ambassador of Peru to Belgium and lecturer of PISCO COLLEGE) and Mr Alain Vervoort (expert in the field of spirits and cocktails and trainer of PISCO COLLEGE). For this occasion, Pisco specialists arrived from Peru, Italy, Spain, Germany and France. Among those were Ms Lucero Villagarcia (sommelier and found of La Magia del Pisco), Ms Rita Romero (owner and producer of premium Pisco Torrentera), Ms Giovanna Lopez (Peruvian champion bartender), Ms Gladys Torres (founder of Association Las Damas del Pisco, based in Italy), Ms Amanda Diaz and Mr Carlos Oblitas (both mixologists and sommeliers, based in Madrid), Mr Chris Pluvinage (director of Piscobar in Paris and champion of the Paris Pisco Week 2018), Mr Gustavo Juarez (owner of Imex Südamerika, with almost 30 years of experience of importing Pisco, based in Germany). The Trade Office of Peru is thankful to the following partners for the contribution to the accomplishment of Pisco College along 2018: Pisco Tabernero, Pisco Portón, Pisco 1615, Pisco Barsol, Pisco Cascajal, Pisco Delixir, Pisco Demonio de los Andes, Pisco Intipalka, Pisco La Caravedo and Pisco Lunas. On the day of the graduation the guests also tasted the following brands: Pisco Torrentera, Pisco Costumbres, Pisco Cofradia, Pisco Claudine, Pisco Sapaq, Pisco Cepa Inka, Pisco Puro Jita and Pisco Toro Muerto. Other contributors were: Licores Kafa, Piscos y Tacos, Jarabes Artisan, Puerés y Jarabes Finest Call, Jammbuche Restobar la Tragoteca de la Amistad. During the ceremony, guests could enjoy a traditional Marinera dance, performed by the European champions. Two of the graduates won a trip to the Ruta del Pisco in the raffle offered by PromPeru and Air Europa.
Pisco College consists out of a theoretical part and a practical part. During the former, the participants learn about the origin of Pisco and its history. They learn how Pisco is made and what are the requirements to be officially called Pisco. In addition, they learn about food pairing and about the different varieties that are available. In the practical part, they learn how to make Pisco Sour, Chilcano and Maracuya Sour, but are also invited to experiment with their own creations. During this part they had the opportunity to talk to the distributors/importers of the Pisco brands that are available on the Belgian market at the moment, so they could learn more about the specifications of each brand. The sessions were given by Mr. Alain Vervoort, renowned spirit and cocktail expert and well known in the Belgian cocktail scene. The participants included top mixologists, teachers in the field of spirits and wine, specialised shop owners, journalists and distributors. More sessions will take place later this year. Due to the success of Pisco College Brussels, the concept will be repeated in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Bogota (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico) and London (United Kingdom).
Pisco is a unique grape distillate from Peru and knows a long tradition dating back as far as the 16th century. The name comes from the Quechua word for ‘bird’, as well as the containers in which the drink was carried and the Peruvian coastal city. Specific legislation makes sure that only top-quality products can be named Pisco that adhere to a long list of criteria. There are 8 different grapes from which Pisco can be made, 4 aromatic and 4 non-aromatic. In addition, there is also an ‘acholado’ (blend) Pisco that can consist out of several Pisco’s. A ‘mosto verde’ (green must) Pisco is made out of grapes of which the fermentation process was interrupted. Pisco can be drank pure, giving you a wide pallet of flavours depending on the variety of the grape. In addition, Pisco is very popular in cocktails, of which the most famous is without doubt the Pisco Sour.
About the Trade Office of Peru in Belgium
The Trade Office of Peru in Belgium belongs to the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) and is responsible for the promotion of exports, tourism and investment in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Contact: Ms. Rosario Pajuelo (director) – firstname.lastname@example.org – +32 2 646 43 64
Two of the graduates won a trip to the Ruta del Pisco in the raffle offered by PromPeru and Air Europa.
The official certificate, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) was handed out and signed by Ms Rosario Pajuelo (Director of the Trade, Investment and Tourism Office of Peru in Belgium and founder of PISCO COLLEGE), Mr Gonzalo Guttiérez (Ambassador of Peru to Belgium and lecturer of PISCO COLLEGE) and Mr Alain Vervoort (expert in the field of spirits and cocktails and trainer of PISCO COLLEGE).