The Mezcal And Maguey

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Women of Mexico in the agave distilled beverage industry. Part 2.

Since the beginning of the rainy season in several regions of Mexico, factories have stopped producing mezcals and now take advantage of the rainy summer to cultivate agaves and implement agroecological techniques associated with the milpa. In Guerrero, the season for establishing agave seedlings, reproduced from seeds and cultivated in vitro in the laboratories of the Autonomous University of Guerrero (UAGro), has begun. They are also working on the application of agroecological cultivation models throughout the central region of the state of Guerrero, under the leadership of Dr. Jeiry Toribio J.

In Michoacán, after an intense season of traditional mezcal production in the municipalities of Villa Madero, Morelia and Tzitzio, with the beginning of the summer season, work is being done in the factories on the establishment of seedbeds and new crops of Agave Cupreata; reproduction from seed is carried out at the same time that the two-year-old agave plants are ready to be transplanted to the slopes of the hillsides in Arroyo de las Nueces, Piedras de Lumbre and Etúcuaro. These tasks demand attention from all those involved in the daily activities during the summer in Michoacán's mezcal vineyards. Also in Michoacán, some of the mezcal factories associated with the Women of Mezcal and Maguey of Mexico received graduate students from different research centers to carry out field work associated with the traditional production of distilled agave beverages, such as the identification of native yeasts, the chemistry of the elements and the use of waste from the production process.

August also saw the start of various diploma courses and courses related to the integral process of using agave plants, the production of distilled beverages and market insertion. In Aguascalientes, a five-week workshop for master mezcal makers was held with the participation of local producers and visiting instructors. The AC Mujeres de Mezcal y Maguey de México is represented by the Michoacán chapter, Luz María Saavedra Hernández, and the Sonora chapter, Adriana Torres Huerta, in the teaching of theoretical knowledge and empirical know-how. The theoretical and practical workshop "Women Learning from Women" was organized by the Secretariat of Economic Development and the Secretariat of Tourism of Aguascalientes, and designed by Mylenna López of the A.C. Mujeres Empresarias del Maguey y Derivados de Aguascalientes (Women Entrepreneurs of Maguey and Derivatives of Aguascalientes).

A broad program of theoretical and practical learning was developed on topics such as the particularities of agave plants, the history of distilled beverages in Mexico and the generalities of traditional mezcal production, cost studies and marketing strategies. Learning also included topics related to standards and regulations corresponding to the certification processes of agave brands and crops. The empirical learning of the workshop participants took place at the Realenga mezcal factory through the production of a batch of mezcal resulting from the baking, fermentation and double distillation of three tons of Agave Salmiana. To close the theoretical and practical workshop, a tasting of different distilled beverages, Realenga mezcals from Aguascalientes and Nanakutzi from Michoacán, and Bacanora from Sonora will be held to taste and learn about the different personalities in the regional flavors and aromas of each beverage.

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