Mezcal production has always been a mystical process in which maestro mezcaleros find blessings, messages and signs in the weather and events that may occur during the production process. Each batch is sacred in its own way and serves as omens for future events.
All agaves go through three stages in their cultivated life. Seed are put on the ground, in a hot bed, where they germinate and live their first six months. Here they need protection from rabbits and goats and are watered every day.
Six-month seedlings are moved to a nursery where they are 4 inches away from their siblings, here they also get protection from rabbits and goats and watered every day.
At one year of age—right when the first summer waters start falling—the agave plants are replanted outdoors. Here they are on their own. Goats and rabbits can no longer eat agave plants at this age. These plants have very few natural predators other than “el torito” a type of beetle and the famous maguey worm. They can survive only with rains of summer. As a result, agaves are well adapted to rocky landscapes that are not irrigated.
All agaves we use are “capón”, this means that they have reached peak maturity.
Agave plants only reproduce once in their lives. They do so by sending up a flower stalk – the quiote – up to 9 meters (30 feet) into the air. Once they flower, the agave plants begin to die. To maximize their ability to produce the highest quality mezcal, the quiotes are cut off to make them gather the sugar in the core instead of using it to grow the massive quiote. Agaves with their quiote cut off, are called “capón” and are the best for producing agave.
Six months after cutting off the quiotes, the agaves are harvested by cutting all the leaves off and cutting the plant at its base thereby leaving only the core, which is called piña for its resemblance to a large pineapple.
A ground oven is employed to cook the piñas using a traditional Oaxacan technique.
SQUASHING & FERMENTING
The cooked piñas are squashed with traditional Mexican hammers and then fermented in Oaxacan barrels.
Separating bodies from heads and tails, we twice distill our mezcal in copper stills which gives our fine spirits the final touch.