Ica is Peru’s largest and most revered wine producer, though it’s desert-defying vineyards are unlikely to get any Euro wine-snobs jumping on a plane anytime soon. The main drawback is ‘sweetness’. Even Peru’s semi-seco (medium-dry) wines are sweet by most yardsticks. Nonetheless, tours around the vineyards can be novel and worthwhile diversions. Most offer free sampling. Bodegas can be visited year-round, but the best time is during the grape harvest from late February until early April.
The countryside around Ica is also scattered with family-owned artisanal bodegas, including San Juan de Bautista about a 7km taxi (S7 one way) or colectivo (S1.50) ride from Ica’s center. Colectivos leave from the corner of Municipalidad and Loreto.