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New line of small-batch Mezcales launch in Texas

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Mezcal lovers, get ready for some very exciting new kinds of mezcal to enjoy.

The Vino de Mezcal series, created by the Fundacion Agaves Silvestres, hit Austin this month.

The foundation came about in part thanks to the Wahaka Mezcal company, whose offices are located in Austin. Wahaka helped fund the non-profit organization’s efforts in reforesting wild agave plants.

Wild agave take up to 12 years to fully mature before being harvested to make agave spirits, and thanks to the surge in demand and production, many agave plants do not get the opportunity to reproduce before they are harvested. For this reason, the foundation purchased a plot of land outside the town of San Dionisio Ocotepec in Oaxaca to grow two varieties of wild agave: one commonly known as Tobala, and another known as Madre Cuishe.

Raza Zaidi from Wahaka says supporting the foundation was very important to the company. “We’re taking from the community to produce our mezcal and we want to make sure we do so in a sustainable way. Certain varieties of wild agave are already extinct due to overcropping.”

Going forward, the foundation will earn revenue by selling a series of Vino de Mezcal small-batch mezcales from around the country. The first series of the small batch mezcales include seven different varieties of the spirit from four mezcaleros in different states of Mexico. Details on the mezcales can be found on the foundation’s website, they include an Espadilla, Lechuguilla, Cupreate, Espadilla con Conejo y Mole Poblano and more.

Zaidi says for him, three of the varieties stand out as particularly interesting.

“Number 3 and 7 are called “pechugas” because the second distillation is done with a bag of turkey (number 3) and rabbit (number 7) meat in the still which release their greases into the mezcal. What is unique is that these meats have been cured with Mole Poblano. And Numero 2 is fermented in a large leather sack…it gives it a very unique taste (like wine drunk out of a spanish “bota).”

The new products will not initially be available for sale in retail outlets, but several bar and restaurant accounts should acquire a bottle later this week. The first shipment into the U.S. is relatively small, so they might be hard to find. Stay tuned for updates.