FOLLOW ALL AGAVE SPIRITS: TEQUILA, MEZCAL, AND MORE, THE MAESTROS, THE CULTURE & ARTS
COOKING AGAVE WITH MAESTRO VALENTIN CORTÉS. DIXEEBE!!
URBAN ART IN OAXACA
2021 STATISTICS FOR TEQUILA
A TWO MINUTE CLOSE-UP TOUR OF EL PANDILLO'S HANDCRAFTED TEQUILA.
First half 2021 Tequila exports grew 22% over the same period in 2020, according to statistics released by Tequila’s Regulatory Council (CRT), driving total first half 2021 exports to over 157 million liters, on pace to exceed the 286 million liters exported in all of 2020.
Five countries account for 91% of all Tequila exports, with the United States representing 87% of all exports, followed by Germany, Spain, Top 5 newcomer Australia, and Canada. While most countries saw a lift in Tequila exports, both the United Kingdom and China saw their Tequila exports decline.
Tequila categorized as 100% Agave Tequila extended its dominance over exports labelled as Tequila (Mixto) with a 63% share of all exports, up from 55% in 2020.
Production statistics released today by the CRT show that first half Tequila production volumes increased by 11% to over 210 million liters, driven by the production of Tequila labelled as 100% Agave which rose by 29% to nearly 148 million liters.
In the United States, demand grew by over 41% for aged Tequilas (Reposado and Añejo/Extra Añejo) while Blanco Tequila exports grew by 9%.
Mezcal’s 2020 total export volume slowed to a 1.3% gain, with the United States increasing Mezcal imports by 5% to over 3.5 million liters, and now accounting for nearly 79% of all Mezcal exports, according to statistics recently published by the Consejo Mexicano Regulador de la Calidad del Mezcal (CRM) in their 2020 Annual Report.
In the top ten 2020 exports markets for Mezcal, Canada, Australia and Italy showed the highest increases in export volumes, up 59%, 96%, and 111% respectively, with the largest declines in the UK and France, both down nearly 40% from 2019 levels. The number of exported Mezcal brands grew to 313, a gain of 36 brands over 2019, and double the number of brands since 2015.
The CRM’s report revealed a 12.7% decline in Mexico’s domestic Mezcal volumes, the first drop ever recorded after a tenfold increase in volume between 2011 and 2019. According to the 2020 report, Mexico shipped 47% more Mezcal to the United States than was shipped to all of Mexico.
PART TWO: CALIFORNIA USA, ECUADOR, SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA AND WHERE THEY GO FROM HERE
US sales of Tequila doubled in the past 10 years, now nearing 200 million liters, according to a report published by the Distilled Spirits Council, with 2020 sales of high end/super premium Tequila surging 23%, while entry level segments remain flat. The United States consumes more Tequila and more Mezcal than any other country in the world, and in the first quarter of 2021, the US imported nearly 60 million liters of Tequila, over 50% of Mexico’s entire production, according to CRT statistics, while the US has imported more than 46% of all Mezcal produced as previously reported.
This surging US demand for premium Tequila and Mezcal has inspired entrepreneurs to farm, harvest and distill California grown Agave. Seven years ago, Craig Reynolds, a former Chief of Staff in the California Legislature set out to lay the foundation for an industry he calls Mezcalifornia “by successfully cultivating Agave Tequilana in Yolo County, California, near Sacramento, to prove that these plants could adapt to cool weather climates and provide locally harvested raw material and a terroir for the Mezcalifornia industry of agave spirits.”
PART ONE: AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
A new project to cultivate over a million Blue Weber Agave Tequilana, the raw material of Tequila, is taking root 7,800 miles away from the town of Tequila, Mexico. Welcome to Queensland Australia, and the new Agave Spirits project undertaken by Top Shelf International (TSI), a publicly traded Australian spirits company with global ambitions. Less than two miles inland from Australia’s famed Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, one of the 7 wonders of the world, lies 130 miles of Agave Tequilana growing under the tropical sun on TSI’s farm near Bowen. “We plan on defining the Australian Agave Spirit by creating the Australian Agave Spirit,” says TSI’s CEO, Drew Fairchild.
“Hand crafted mezcal production has the potential of being totally sustainable, but this is far from the situation today,” says Carlos Moreno who has implemented extensive sustainability initiatives as the founder of Koch El Mezcal. “There are five main issues that must be addressed immediately,” continues Carlos who is based in the state of Oaxaca home to 90% of mezcal’s production, “and these are deforestation, biodiversity, byproducts, wild agave depletion and chemical farming.”
The global surge in mezcal consumption has ignited mezcal production to record levels doubling in volume between 2016 and 2019 to over 7 million liters...
Huxal Barreno is a deliciously complex Mezcal from sustainably cultivated 15 yr+ and 500lbs+ Barreno agaves, bottled at 100 proof. Handcrafted by 3rd generation mezcalero Don Bernardo, this unique mezcal has dominant notes of minerals and earth, along with leather, spices, tempered heat and well balanced smoke for a memorable finish. Very well made and well worth discovering. Huxal began as a project to support the bomberos (firefighters) of Oaxaca. For 20 years, the City of Palo Alto, California has been sending surplus fire vehicles to build up emergency response units in Oaxaca State, Mexico.
Huxal Barreno es un deliciosamente complejo Mezcal de Barreno agave cultivado mayores de 15 años y más grande de 225 kilos. Embotellado a 50% alc. y elaborada a mano por el mezcalero Don Bernardo de tercera generación, esta mezcal único tiene notas dominantes de minerales y tierra, junto con cuero, especias, calor templado y humo bien equilibrado para un retrogusto memorable. Muy bien elaborado y bien vale la pena descubrir. Huxal comenzó como un proyecto de apoyo a los bomberos de Oaxaca. Durante 20 años, la ciudad de Palo Alto, California, ha estado enviando vehículos de bomberos excedentes para construir unidades de respuesta de emergencia en el estado de Oaxaca, México.
“The biodiversity and genetic diversity achieved from cultivating agave from locally sourced seeds rather than clones is the key to organic farming,” explains Eleazar Brena, “because seed germinated agaves become stronger plants with higher sugar levels, all without the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides.” Monoculture, particularly of Espadín, is an alarming practice according to Eleazar because it “harms the ecosystem by suppressing natural pollinators and depletes nutrients from the soil, which means adding chemical fertilizers.”
Statistics published by the Center for Studies on Maguey (aka Agave) and Mezcal (CEMMEZ), imply that in a single year up to 30,000 tons of firewood were used for mezcal ...
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