Only three states in Mexico have a Protected Designation of Origin. Guanajuato is one of them for: Tequila and Mezcal.
At the central states of Mexico, a large industry to produce these beverages is present. In Guanajuato, several municipalities produce artisanal Tequila and Mezcal, although not all the producers in the state have a Protected Designation of Origin and may not be able to name their products with those designations. Promoting this industry is a priority for Guanajuato as it represents a major aspect of the local culture and history.
The ancient techniques used in the production of Tequila and Mezcal represent a passing of the torch from our predecessors to the new settlers who inherited this land and the knowledge of our ancestors together with an implicit responsibility to honor and continue the traditions of those men and women. These are people who work for love of the craft and respect for the soil that nurtures the industry.
The cities of San Luis de la Paz and San Felipe have a Protected Designation of Origin to produce this ancestral spirit, however, what is truly remarkable is the large variety of Mezcal the region has to offer. Throughout the state, many different species of the agave plant can be found: Mapisaga, Salmiana, Tequilana weber, Americana, Espadín and Parry. The agave plant has a lifespan that goes from 6 to up to 20 years to reach the plant’s harvesting time.
Something peculiar about this particular area, setting it apart from other regions of Mexico, is that some of the local mezcal haciendas have been producing mezcal for more than two centuries.
It would be very hard to try and single out one of the many brands of mezcal in the state, as each one of them has its own special touch, but here’s a list of some of them to get you started:
- Mezcal Torres Mochas
- Mezcal Villasuso
- Mezcal Penca y Piedra
San Luis de la Paz:
- Rancho La Quinta
- Mezcal Pozo Hondo
- Mezcal Chantaman
- Mezcal Hacienda Vergel de Guadalupe
- Mezcal Cuanax
- Mezcal Fuerza de Dios
In Guanajuato we are proud to have a second Protected Designation of Origin for Tequila produced in Abasolo, Ciudad Manuel Doblado, Cuerámaro, Huanímaro, Pénjamo and Purísima del Rincón.
The production in the state represents 30% of the country’s total agave production. The production in the state breaks down as follows: Pénjamo 7 ha, Huanímaro 1.2 ha, Abasolo 1.8 ha, Romita 17.7 ha, Cuerámaro 600 ha, Manuel Doblado 4,500 ha and Purísima del Rincón 3,300 ha.
In the city of Pénjamo you can find the House of Tequila Corralejo and the Tequilera Real de Pénjamo, here you can learn all about the artisanal production process of this distillate, taste tests, souvenirs, everything you need to remember this experience.
In Huanímaro, Tequila Huani is an excellent option, they are relatively new producers but with a great quality product.
This route can be complemented with a visit to the archaeological sites of Peralta or Plazuelas and continue with the Touristic Spot of Pénjamo and the traditional cuisine from Guanajuato.
Guanajuato has a great offer of distillates of agave, these beverages are neither tequila nor mezcal, however, they do embody the true essence of the agave plant. Visit the Campo Toro distillery in Manuel Doblado or the María de la Paz distillery in Silao.
In the state we are constantly making efforts to better our agave industry and production of distillates from the plant. This is more than a beverage rich in acid, fruity and earthy notes of flavor, this industry bears witness to the resilience of a city, its people, and their will to overcome and thrive in the face of adversity.
In Guanajuato, this ancestral beverage has been brought back from oblivion, and it somehow has found a way back into the homes of the people in Valle de Santiago, where an extraordinary effort has been made by the community to make of the pulque industry a touristic attraction. Pulque is a beverage that comes from the fermentation of maguey juices. It has become very popular to mix pulque with fruits or special ingredients to produce “Curados” and now it is possible to find flavored pulque, like chocolate or pineapple.