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Lowlands distillery using Highlands pinas?


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#1 Tonga

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:31 PM

Since many of you are back from the tour, while it's still fresh in your head...can anyone give an example or two of a distillery that is located in a lowland area, but uses agave pinas from the highlands or the reciprocal?

Since hanging out here, I've learned that some places were buying their agave from bulk vendors according to whatever was going on with agave at the time. Due to shortages/gluts of agave some producers had to get agave wherever they could. I'm not sure what the market is like now, but it seems like there is plenty of agave around for the major distillers. I've heard Heradurra gets their agaves from several sources (may or may not be true) so how can we begin to classify it's tequila if it uses Pinas from both highlands and lowlands?

What I'm doing is trying to re arrange my collection (now that I've made a bunch of empty slots in the display) by highlands or lowlands. There are certain places like Fortuleza, where they use estate grown agave, and I know Fortuleza is in Tequila...a lowland area. I know there is no definitive 'list' around as to which tequilas are considered highlands, and which are considered lowlands, at least not that I've found.

#2 Tequila Joe

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 01:52 PM

Since many of you are back from the tour, while it's still fresh in your head...can anyone give an example or two of a distillery that is located in a lowland area, but uses agave pinas from the highlands or the reciprocal?

Since hanging out here, I've learned that some places were buying their agave from bulk vendors according to whatever was going on with agave at the time. Due to shortages/gluts of agave some producers had to get agave wherever they could. I'm not sure what the market is like now, but it seems like there is plenty of agave around for the major distillers. I've heard Heradurra gets their agaves from several sources (may or may not be true) so how can we begin to classify it's tequila if it uses Pinas from both highlands and lowlands?

What I'm doing is trying to re arrange my collection (now that I've made a bunch of empty slots in the display) by highlands or lowlands. There are certain places like Fortuleza, where they use estate grown agave, and I know Fortuleza is in Tequila...a lowland area. I know there is no definitive 'list' around as to which tequilas are considered highlands, and which are considered lowlands, at least not that I've found.

T-1 uses lowland distillery and agaves from highlands

#3 gabe

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:10 PM

T-1 uses lowland distillery and agaves from highlands

I wouldn't be surprised if other tequilas at Tequilena (NOM 1146) do too. Isn't the owner of the distillery an agave farmer with a substantial number of fields?

Also, didn't someone mention that Chinaco trucks in agaves from Jalisco now?

#4 *45*

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:24 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if other tequilas at Tequilena (NOM 1146) do too. Isn't the owner of the distillery an agave farmer with a substantial number of fields?

yes, according to German, all of the fields that belong to the owner of 1146 are in Los Altos

Also, didn't someone mention that Chinaco trucks in agaves from Jalisco now?

German also said that Chinaco has been using agave from Los Altos for quite a while now

#5 Tonga

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:53 PM

So we can classify anything out of 1146 as a highland tequila, regardless of the actual location of the distillery, no?

Same with current Chinaco?

#6 gabe

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:09 PM

So we can classify anything out of 1146 as a highland tequila, regardless of the actual location of the distillery, no?

Is "highlands" only about the agave source, or is it more than that? When I was chatting with Sophia Partida at Tommy's a couple years back, she said something to the effect of "Partida is a lowlands tequila made in the lowlands style", implying that it was about more than the agaves. However, I didn't ask her to elaborate (or if I did, I don't remember her answer).

#7 *45*

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 04:08 PM

Is "highlands" only about the agave source, or is it more than that? When I was chatting with Sophia Partida at Tommy's a couple years back, she said something to the effect of "Partida is a lowlands tequila made in the lowlands style", implying that it was about more than the agaves. However, I didn't ask her to elaborate (or if I did, I don't remember her answer).


the water is the other part of the equation. a lot of lowland distilleries use water from the volcano and a lot of distilleries in the highlands use well or natural spring water. then you have those who use distilled water, so where it comes from does not matter.

#8 fdm1

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 07:51 PM

El tequileno(nom 1108) also grows their agave in los altos and has their distillery in Tequila

#9 *45*

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 07:55 PM

El tequileno(nom 1108) also grows their agave in los altos and has their distillery in Tequila


BATANGA! :D

#10 Don Adolfo

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 10:06 PM

Since many of you are back from the tour, while it's still fresh in your head...can anyone give an example or two of a distillery that is located in a lowland area, but uses agave pinas from the highlands or the reciprocal?

Since hanging out here, I've learned that some places were buying their agave from bulk vendors according to whatever was going on with agave at the time. Due to shortages/gluts of agave some producers had to get agave wherever they could. I'm not sure what the market is like now, but it seems like there is plenty of agave around for the major distillers. I've heard Heradurra gets their agaves from several sources (may or may not be true) so how can we begin to classify it's tequila if it uses Pinas from both highlands and lowlands?

What I'm doing is trying to re arrange my collection (now that I've made a bunch of empty slots in the display) by highlands or lowlands. There are certain places like Fortuleza, where they use estate grown agave, and I know Fortuleza is in Tequila...a lowland area. I know there is no definitive 'list' around as to which tequilas are considered highlands, and which are considered lowlands, at least not that I've found.



Tonga, you are very right. A lot has changed since the agave shortage that began in '99/2000, and then the subsequent glut. Historically, most tequila producers have utilized agave grown close to their facilities. But the shortage caused them to search out agave far and wide, and also to buy their supply from "brokers" (otherwise known as "coyotes") who pool agave from many sources. Before we developed our Alquimia Tequila, we sold our crops to companies such as: Cazadores, Don Julio, and Herradura. (We are in the Arandas area of the Highlands region.) Since the shortage, many of the large tequila producers have ramped up their plantings of agave, and are renting lands far from their respective regions. Our ranch is now surrounded by lands that have been rented to the large lowlands producers. So it is now much more difficult to differentiate true "lowlands" vs. "highlands" tequilas, other than those produced by the smaller factories/brands that either grow their own agave or buy from local growers.

Salud!
Don Adolfo

#11 bpacifica

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:38 PM

Tonga, you are very right. A lot has changed since the agave shortage that began in '99/2000, and then the subsequent glut. Historically, most tequila producers have utilized agave grown close to their facilities. But the shortage caused them to search out agave far and wide, and also to buy their supply from "brokers" (otherwise known as "coyotes") who pool agave from many sources. Before we developed our Alquimia Tequila, we sold our crops to companies such as: Cazadores, Don Julio, and Herradura. (We are in the Arandas area of the Highlands region.) Since the shortage, many of the large tequila producers have ramped up their plantings of agave, and are renting lands far from their respective regions. Our ranch is now surrounded by lands that have been rented to the large lowlands producers. So it is now much more difficult to differentiate true "lowlands" vs. "highlands" tequilas, other than those produced by the smaller factories/brands that either grow their own agave or buy from local growers.

Salud!
Don Adolfo


Wow, Don Adolfo, thanks for this info.

#12 Tonga

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:05 AM

Tonga, you are very right. A lot has changed since the agave shortage that began in '99/2000, and then the subsequent glut. Historically, most tequila producers have utilized agave grown close to their facilities. But the shortage caused them to search out agave far and wide, and also to buy their supply from "brokers" (otherwise known as "coyotes") who pool agave from many sources. Before we developed our Alquimia Tequila, we sold our crops to companies such as: Cazadores, Don Julio, and Herradura. (We are in the Arandas area of the Highlands region.) Since the shortage, many of the large tequila producers have ramped up their plantings of agave, and are renting lands far from their respective regions. Our ranch is now surrounded by lands that have been rented to the large lowlands producers. So it is now much more difficult to differentiate true "lowlands" vs. "highlands" tequilas, other than those produced by the smaller factories/brands that either grow their own agave or buy from local growers.

Salud!
Don Adolfo



Exactly what I was looking for Don Adolfo, thanks for the information.

#13 lirubis

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:28 PM

One more reason why now, more than ever, your tastebuds must be on max alert: labels dont tell the whole story anymore.