Startup Stories of Spirits Entrepreneurs: Encanto Pisco

Startup Stories of Spirits Entrepreneurs: Encanto Pisco

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

Encanto Pisco, started in 2010, is a brand made “from the heart” by three seasoned industry friends: award-winning distiller Carlos Ruben Romero-Gamero, bar owner Duggan McDonnell, and sommelier Walter Moore. The three men first met at McDonnell’s bar, Cantina, in San Francisco and with their knowledge in various aspects of the business (distillation, cocktail creation and wholesale), they created Encanto Pisco. Moore first experienced pisco in Peru in 2009. “I had already begun to do some consulting with spirits brands, but hadn't yet experienced pisco. It was a revelation for me. I wanted to get my hands into pisco and the beautiful grapes behind it.”

Pisco, a grape brandy made in Peru (and Chile), has a long history with San Francisco. Beginning in the mid-1800s, it was the spirit that fueled the Gold Rush as it arrived on ships from South America that were bringing labor and supplies. Pisco can be made from eight designated grapes. Once the wine is made, it is distilled to make a brandy using the solera system, as with sherry, and then the blending takes place. It is Encanto Pisco’s goal to make the best handcrafted artisanal pisco. Through long-standing relationships with growers and a detailed focus on the winemaking process, distillation and blending, every step of the process is hands-on. The result is a smooth, terroir-driven product.“As a sommelier, I wanted something sippable,” says Moore. “And as a bartender, Duggan wanted something mixable. Carlos wanted something brilliant that reflected his 32 years of experience as a distiller.”

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Now Trending: The Rise of Cachaça and Pisco

Now Trending: The Rise of Cachaça and Pisco

By Natalie Migliarini, Foodable Contributor

With modern “mixologists” wanting to be unique and looking to create a bar program that will stand out among what has become an extremely competitive industry, it’s becoming difficult to find a product that hasn’t already been tainted in the eyes of consumers. 

Outside Influences

Mixologists are not only looking at new and unique products from their favorite brands, but also spirits from around the world. This includes a rise of cachaça and pisco from South America. Why are these spirits trending? Some reasons include increased exposure through travel, increased exports of cachaca and pisco from South America to the U.S., consumer demand of unique spirits on cocktail menus, and bartender education/curiosity of unique spirits. 

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