- Singani is the undisputable national alcoholic beverage of Bolivia. It is produced from a clear distillate of a 100% natural Muscat of Alexandria wine from grapes grown between 1,600 and 3,000 meters above sea level. It originated in the valleys near the silver mining city of PotosĂ. Today, Singani is produced in the high valleys of Tarija, Cinti, PotosĂ and La Paz. Its low yields in the field due to the altitude and other local conditions confer a complex and elegant concentration of wine aromas that when distilled produce a fabulous drink that our forebears named SINGANI. Singani can be drunk straight with or without ice, or long drinks and cocktails. It is the central ingredient in many traditional Bolivian cocktails such as Chufly, Poncho Negro and YungueĂ±ito to name a few. The high altitude of the vineyards and the careful attention given during distillation gives Singani an elegance and complexity that makes Bolivians proud of their national drink.
Production of wine and Singani for the mines in PotosĂ
In 1545 the great Cerro Rico (rich mountain) of PotosĂ was rediscover by the Spanish conquerors, a silver mine of such dimensions that its stories reached the ends of the world, calling numerous visionaries to settle in Bolivia.Â By 1630 the great city of PotosĂ had a larger population than most of the capitals of Europe, larger than London.Â The mines of PotosĂ were at their prime; the largest and richest silver mines in existence, and produced the craved mineral for most of the world.Â It is rumored that the silver extracted from the Cerro Rico was enough to build a bridge across the continent, linking PotosĂ to Spain.
Silver coins were PotosĂ main product that would be exported across Europe and into the rest of the world.Â The great wealth of the colonial city would soon demand the most exquisite products from around the globe, including large quantities of wines and distillates.Â PotosĂ became indeed the â€śParis of the worldâ€ť.Â The established European culture required that Bolivia produce its own wine and distillates in its neighboring valleys.
Since PotosĂ rises to an altitude of 4,050 meters above see level (masl) or over 13,000 feet above see level, the Bolivian wine was also distilled to produce a strong beverage, one that would protect the population from the reigning cold weather.Â And this is how Boliviaâ€™s traditional drink came to birth.Â A noble, clear and pure distillate of Moscatel of Alexandria grapes grown above 1,600 masl, one that would not need to be aged in wood barrels following the paths of traditional noble distillates, because even after been distilled the singani kept its typical elegance and Muscatelâ€™s aroma intact.
Production of Singani with technology in Los Cintis
By 1930â€™s, the latest French technology was introduced to wineries in the region of Los Cintis, a region concentrated mainly in the production of Singani.Â As the years passed, the region developed so quickly around the production of singani and wine that it became the largest industrial tax contributor of the country.
Introduction of technology for production of wines in Tarija
Around the late 1960â€™s, Bolivian wineries started investing in technology from Argentina, with the purpose of spreading the production of wine in the Central Valley of Tarija. And through this modernization and expansion, an important period begins, one that leaves artisanal wine production and delves into controlled and fully modernized production process.Â Soon, a well developed viticulture sector was established throughout Tarija for the production of table wine as well as for singani.