ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You’ve likely seen it at a liquor store or at your local corner bar. This is the story of how one Oaxacan mezcal company is on a mission to support and unite small-scale agave farmers and traditional mezcal distillers, while bringing the fruits of their labors to the wider world. Madre Mezcal is an artisanal Mezcal, made by hand in the hills of San Dionisio, Oaxaca. It has always had an “it takes a village” quality to it, with communities coming together not only to enjoy it, but help make it. Grapefruit, pineapple, corn, chiles, … The group owns and operates everything from Arts District Brewing Company to Cole’s/The Varnish and the gorgeous Imperial Western at Union Station. For Champion, the sales pitch was about the vision of a collective, delivered to people like Hernández whose small, artisanal mezcal operations he wanted to recruit for Mezcal Unión. © 2021 CHOWHOUND, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. In Mexico, where mezcal is enjoying a deserved share of the spirits limelight, a group of locals is looking to stimulate a limping economy. By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy. Even the bustling town of Oaxaca City, with its fashionable brunch cafés, art galleries, and shopping promenades seems a world away from the agave farms and palenques—that is, distilleries—that share a postal code. This agave is cut and roasted for four days. Fortunately, there are beverage endeavors that truly look after the people they depend on. We don’t boss you around; we’re simply here to bring authenticity and understanding to all that enriches our lives as men on a daily basis. Exclusivity with Mezcal Unión is never asked of anyone, a critical detail in preserving the artisanal, and nearly sacred element of mezcal production for these families. While a particular family might have been farming the land for generations, there’s no guarantee that they will be there to reap what they sow. “The one thing they all seemed to agree on is that they lack unity among them and that, if somehow they could come together and collaborate, union would be the key to prosperity,” he says. Because the stuff is old, adored, and drenched in folklore, mezcal touts some great stories. The folks at the Union are offering not only work, but a stake in the land and a share in the profits. Mezcal is ultra trendy and ultra old-school, with an ancient history, a vibrant present, and a bright future. She is also a certified sommelier, voiceover artist, and an avid lover of all things pickled or fermented. There’s not a single volt of electricity nor a single bar of cellular service within reach. 5 Billion by 2027. Mezcal Unión brings a bit of this traditionalism to the table. I did a lot of reading on my own and also attended weekly educational classes while working there. Agave de Cortes is the house mezcal made by the Cortes family who owns the company. Union uses a collection of different producer-families in the region to produce their bottles. Los jugos fermentados del agave se depositan en alambiques de cobre, donde se hierven para evaporar las moléculas de alcohol. It’s far too easy to picture the drinks biz in its own lofty bubble, floating above the rest of the universe, everyone with a cocktail in hand. Estamos muy contentos y orgullosos de anunciar que nuestro Mezcal Unión Joven ganó la medalla de oro en en la Spirits Selection by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2019 En 2016, Mezcal Unión El Viejo, ganó la medalla de oro en los San Francisco World Spirits Competition En ambas ocasiones, un gran número de espirituosos compitieron ante una selección de los mejores catadores del mundo entero. The great distance between Oaxaca and Williamsburg is metaphorical as well as actual. The process that takes agave to mezcal, for the independent operators, relies entirely on a system of human, equine, and fire power. It’s smoky and earthy, made from the piña, or heart of the agave plant. But it’s an industry. And finally, many agave farms within Oaxaca, and specifically in the region of San Juan del Rio, are built on a system of communal property. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. Bacardi bought a minority stake in Ilegal in February and Diageo has a distribution deal (and likely some equity stake or options) with Mezcal Union. Oaxaca is home to most mezcal production, though it’s made in many places throughout the country. This steam will then travel through a steel serpentine- submerged in cold water. It’s a decidedly gentler approach than the more popular and capitalistic technique of simply buying and clearing the land, which pushes locals out and tends to squeeze farmers financially due to a typically massive production scale. The Mexico City outfit is specifically targeting the greatly unemployed agave-growing states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Verra Cruz, and the most famous, Oaxaca. #MEZCALesUNIÓN, A post shared by Mezcal Unión (@mezcalunion) on Jun 22, 2017 at 8:21pm PDT. #MEZCALesUNION, A post shared by Mezcal Unión (@mezcalunion) on Aug 30, 2017 at 6:00pm PDT. It’s a carefree fantasy spawned by the temporary effects of the drinks themselves. “This notion became our inspiration.”. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Mezcal estimated at US$496. Heritage plays an important roll in our mezcal tradicional process. Meet the board online. From. , for the independent operators, relies entirely on a system of human, equine, and fire power. #MEZCALesUNION #destilación #Mezcal #agave #Mexico #Oaxaca #campo #espadín #tobalá Foto por: @babykarate para @TRAVESIAS media, A post shared by Mezcal Unión (@mezcalunion) on Jul 3, 2018 at 11:29am PDT. In Mexico, where mezcal is enjoying a deserved share of the spirits limelight, a group of locals is looking to stimulate a limping economy. The establishment of trust with the indigenous people was the most important piece, before Champion could continue door-to-door to bars and distributors in Mexico City and beyond with a finished product. Like wine, it has its own geographical indications, which reflect the state and region it’s grown and produced in. When you distill the entirety of the business, it almost always comes down to farmers. Este vapor viajará a través de un tubo sumergido en agua fría donde se condensará. Reforma boasts Arizona's largest selection of Mezcal and Tequila, along with a creative list of margaritas and cocktails and house made salsas, which are just some of the reasons Reforma has quickly become a … The palenques of Oaxaca paint a very different picture: little more than a concrete floor built into a rocky hillside with a giant fire pit for piña roasting. There the steam will condense back into a liquid. Founder, Mezcal Enthusiast Lane Harlan was born in the Province of Pampanga, Philippines and raised all over the US, settling in Baltimore at the age of 17. That’s when we get the first drops of Mezcal. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is … Just fill in your name and email, or give us a call at 707-996-8463 and we'll get back to you. It is available in the U.S., and will likely become even more so in the years to come. Here Are the Down and Dirty Basics, The Best Rums for Mixing to Turn Any Night Into Island Night, The Best Instant Ramen Noodles You Should Try, Instant Pot Down to Cheapest-Ever Price in Time for the Super Bowl, The Best Beverage Coolers for Beer, Wine, and Soda, The Best Decaf Coffee Beans to Buy in 2021, How to Cook Steak in the Oven Perfectly Every Time. We … Have a question or concern? The families that produce Union have several generations experience as their main craft. All rights reserved. Take any notion you think you have of “distillery” and chuck it. Tres palabras que dicen mucho. Mexican Restaurant. Consistency for each of the products is maintained through ratios; mezcal is collected from 55 families utilizing three different types of agave—espadín, cirial, and tobalá—and then each product is assembled with specific ratios of each of the types. There are an increasing number of Tequila and mezcal brands entering the market. In the tiny village of San Miguel Ejutla in the central valley of Oaxaca, a co-operative comprised of 36+ families (Unión Productores de Agropecuarios del Distrito de Ejutla de Crespo (UPADEC)) is committed to sustainable, fair trade mezcal production the same way it’s been done by their ancestors for nearly two centuries. The old man perhaps meant a union between all of the small farmers and producers who make mezcal, but Champion et al saw an additional link: creating a union between those who make it, along with those equipped to market it, and also with those around the world who would drink it, providing long-term sustainability for Oaxaca’s indigenous families in artisanal mezcal production for generations to come. 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