Updates

Meet the Mezcaleros

10/29/2015

Through the dedication of our talented growers and mezcalleros, a vision came to life and we want to share the story behind the making of La Luna Mezcal.

Our mezcals are created using the same traditional methods renown throughout Mexico. Over the years, the perfecting of these traditional methods has let to a resugence of popularity. From a cheap home made moonshine in the 30’s and 40’s to an Urban Cowboy worm crunching dare in the 80’s, mezcal has now found a place in the world of spirits where it is considered to be a refined and desirable rarity of spirits. In this modern day, the popularity is growing as consumers are now exploring new and exciting agave spirits beyond the already wildly popular Tequila.

Our partners in Mexico, Dona Elena and her husband Ysidro, are deeply dedicated to producing the best mezcal humanly possible. The results of this passion is proven in their product. The small remote mezcal stand they operate is famous beyond the foot hills outside of Morelia where it resides. Their reputation draws mezcal aficionados from all over the state and beyond. This includes ourselves.

Made from the cupreta agave plant, which is a different varietal from the blue agave most Tequilas consist of, Isidro’s family has owned and farmed the hundreds of acres deep in the foothills of Michoacan for three generations. On this property, there are 200 acres of planted cupreta agave plants that are in all states of maturity. Agave plants can only be harvested every 6 years so this is a painstaking process that requires patience and deep knowlege of the health and life cycle of the plant. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides are ulitlized in our fields and the plants are tended to frequently to prevent damage from the elements or infestation by the infamous “gusano” that burrow deep into the heart of the plant.

Once ready for harvest, the agave plants are laboriously harvested, trimed down by machete to their “piña” which is the round center after the foliage is excised. These piñas are then roasted in a pit of coals until the flesh of the piña is cooked to a consistency that the mezcallero considers right for the next step of fermentation.

The roasted piñas are then thrown into a cement pit, mashed vigorously until all the juices are drawn from the tight fibers of the roasted cupreta agave. Once this mash is at the soft, liquefied consistency approved by the mezcallero, it is covered tightly by a wooden door and left to ferment. Fermentation is tricky and is when the artistry begins. The Mezcallero must check on the flavors as they intensify and capture the fruit at the right ammount of sugar. This process can take days, weeks but once the sugars are measured and the mash looks adequately developed, it is time to distil. Primary distillation requres the mash to be transferred into a still where is is then heated and cooked. The residual liquid that siphons out is brown and considered very raw. Once the full extent of the liquid is acquired from primary fermentation, the next still will further cook the liquid and draw out clearer lquid and more refined flavors of the roasted curpreta. At every step, flavor and alcolhol levels are tested. If the mezcallero decides they would like to infuse other natural fruit flavors, around the second distillation is when they add fruit, seasoned wood or herbs to create a distict variety of their mezcal. Favorite infusions of mezcal in the region are guava and membrillo which often have a lower percentage of alcohol and enjoyed straight over ice as a refreshing cocktail.

Pure mezcal will continue on through 3rd and 4th distillation removing all impurities and tested for flavor and smoothness at every step. Once the mezcallero determines that the product is perfectly refined, smooth with varying degrees of smokiness depending on the preference for that batch, the next step is the bottling process. Once bottled, it is ready to sell either at Dona Elena’s famous mezcal stand or in the US by Puente-Internacional to you!