It won’t end the debate over the origin of pisco, but Chile certainly earned some bragging rights when Pisco Waqar was awarded Best Pisco at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition on March 25, 2012.
The San Francisco competition, which is the oldest and largest spirit competition in the country and the most recognized in the world, is seen as an indicator of new tastes within the U.S. spirits industry.
“This year’s vibrant and talented judging panel, all of whom are experienced tasters returning from last year’s competition, were able to recognize emerging trends in the exciting spirits arena and pinpoint the leaders within each category,” said Founder and Executive Director of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Anthony Dias Blue.
“Mezcal, gin, rye, bourbon and brandy – especially pisco – are exploding in popularity,” said Blue.
Pisco Waqar is a family-run, artisanal distillery in Tulahuén in the Coquimbo region of northern Chile, with over five generations of history.
The award is certain to establish Pisco Waqar in the U.S. market; the group of industry leaders who organize it are directly responsible for purchasing over US$1 billion worth of spirits each year, while the journalist present at the event reach more than a million trade and consumer readers each month.
It came days before the trade body representing Chilean producers of the grape spirit, Chile Pisco, launched a year-long communications program focused in New York, with the aim of boosting the prominence of pisco in the U.S. market.
“We realize that New York is one of the most competitive markets in the world for distilled spirits,” said Fernando Herrera, General Manager of Pisco Producers Association and President of the Pisco Export Promotion Program, “but we believe that the range, quality and incredible versatility of our piscos will create a demand among the most discriminating retailers, beverage directors and mixologists.”