Mexico endorses appellation of origin for tequila and mezcal

Mexico and the European Union agreed to update the list of spirit designations, with which our country protected the titles "Tequila", "Mezcal", "Sotol" and "Charanda".

The agave plant for the production of tequila. Photo: Tequila Route / Especial
The agave plant for the production of tequila. Photo: Tequila Route / Especial

The Ministry of Economy (SE) announced that the readjustment in the Agreement between the European Community and the United Mexican States on the Mutual Recognition and Protection of Designations in the Spirit Drinks Sector takes effect as of January 31.

One of the objectives of this agreement is to ensure that the protected designations of each region are reserved exclusively for the spirits of the country of origin and may only be used in accordance with the laws and regulations of each of the parties.

With this update, Mexico not only ensures the continuity of protection of the mentioned denominations, but also extends the protection provided by the Agreement to the denominations "Bacanora" and "Raicilla", which promotes their protection in the territory of the country's commercial partners.

Tequila manufacturers have already captured the US market and now go to Asia

The United States is the main consumer of tequila. Jalisco has 197 certified tequila factories plus those that are not recognized. It is estimated that there are more than 1,700 tequila brands.

Jalisco has 197 certified tequileras plus those that are not recognized. It is estimated that there are more than 1,700 tequila brands. Image: Flickr
Jalisco has 197 certified tequileras plus those that are not recognized. It is estimated that there are more than 1,700 tequila brands. Image: Flickr

Tequila is produced not only in Jalisco but also in Guanajuato, where there is an agave production corridor that turns the entity into the second national supplier of this type of distillate and has the challenge of expanding consumption to other countries, mainly in Asia, Korea, China, Japan, Singapore.

The main consumer of tequila

In 2018, exports were 211 million litres that were exported to the international market. The number one consumer of tequila is the United States. Another of the important markets that is also presented in the statistics is Latvia is a very important market that is consuming, and Singapore has been painting to be a major consumer.

For more than 15 years, in Guanajuato, there are seven municipalities that have the designation of origin of tequila, among them Huanímaro, Abasolo, Pénjamo, Cuerámaro, Manuel Doblado, and Purísima del Rincón. It is estimated that there are more than 16 thousand hectares for the production of agave, according to data from Sagarpa.

There are more than 50 million agave plants. Guanajuato is the second supplier of the industry after Jalisco, here is most of the agave, and also the best quality of the agave is occurring in Guanajuato, the climate, sea level, humidity help us, in short, several factors.

Although in Mexico, the state of Jalisco is recognized for the production of tequila, it is not the only one. Tequila has a designation of origin from five states, one of the states is Guanajuato, the main one is Jalisco, Nayarit, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas.

In Guanajuato, there are three tequila producers recognized before the Regulatory Council of Tequila, Corralejo, Real de Pénjamo and Tequila de Huanímaro. Meanwhile, Jalisco has 197 certified tequila plants that are not recognized and it is estimated that there are more than 1,700 tequila brands according to the Council. Tequila regulator.

In the municipality of Huanímaro, one of the purest tequilas is produced because its process is artisanal and is known as Huaní tequila.

The whole process is cooked in masonry distillation ovens, extract the juice is milled, extract the juice, fermentation without chemicals, here it does not use anything, as natural as possible. Nowadays, things have changed a lot of years ago, there were not even the essences, the tequila boom in the world began a few years ago and that is why there are essences and that the market asks you for a different market in what you are innovating and You send a tequila with banana or mango aroma, and it is tequila but it is not 100% natural anymore.

Differences between the types of tequila

The difference is that the white tequila as it comes out of the distillation comes out as such, it comes out at 55 degrees of alcohol volume, so the standard here makes us a dilution according to the degree that you are going to send to your market, that the Standard allows us the maximum is 55 degrees and the minimum 35 degrees and from there you dilute it to the degree that your market is asking for. The reposado you put a white oak barrel and this gives the colour, the standard says two months to 11 months is rested, the old that lasts at least 12 months and depends on the profile that you are going to give it you leave 13, 14 months, the extra vintage is 36 months and what you want to give.

INFUSED WITH TEQUILA AND MEZCAL, MEXICAN CULTURE AND TRADITION

Maguey plantations dazzle visitors in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca; in Jalisco, the tour to the oldest distillery in Latin America is a must.

Mexico distils tradition and culture through its drinks. Mezcal and tequila are two of the most representative ones whose heritage goes back to ancestral times. To learn about the historical past, as well as the process of making these emblems of the national cuisine, tourists can travel the Caminos del Mezcal in Oaxaca and the Tequila Route in Jalisco.

About 40 minutes from downtown Oaxaca is Santiago Matatlán, a place known as "the world capital of mezcal", where the enormous maguey plants announce the arrival of the town and its majestic plantations and fields, which grow wild or cultivated, can be visited by visitors, as well as the factories and outlets to discover the process of producing the "drink of the gods".

They can also enjoy conversations full of wisdom with the mezcal masters, and taste the traditional drink because as the saying goes "for every bad mezcal, and for every good one, too".

During the trip, you can learn about the traditional remedies in which mezcal is used and some of the ritual customs of the use of this elixir, besides having contact with the native flora and fauna of Oaxaca.

The tour also includes visits to the towns of Santa María del Tule, San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Teotitlán del Valle, Tlacolula de Matamoros and Santiago Villa de Mitla, places where you can see ancient temples and clay or colourful textiles with pre-Hispanic designs made on a treadle loom.

The legacy of the agave continues. In the west of Mexico is Jalisco, where the Tequila Route takes place, which is made up of eight municipalities around the Tequila Volcano, and the town of the same name is the starting point of the tourist circuit.

There, one of the most famous tours is carried out, which is the visit to Cuervo World. This is a trip on the José Cuervo Express train that takes you to the La Rojeña agave fields, the oldest distillery in Latin America and the flagship of the Cuervo brand, where guided tours, tastings and educational tasting sessions are held.

Visitors can return the same day or stay at the Hotel Solar de las Ánimas, one of the 100 best hotels in the world, with a colonial style and a luxurious terrace that offers spectacular postcards with a view of the volcano.

Another well-known factory is Casa Herradura, in Amatitán, where the tour also begins on board the Tequila Herradura Express. In addition to learning about the production process and tasting, you can enjoy a Mexican meal accompanied by a live show.

However, it is recommended to visit other distilleries on the route, as the manufacturing process varies according to the different producers.

Among other activities, you can visit the opal mines in the municipality of Magdalena; see the Palo Verde Lagoon and the archaeological vestiges of Etzatlán; stroll through the old French-style market at Ahualulco or explore the haciendas at El Arenal and San Juanito de Escobedo.

By Mexicanist