WINES AND SPIRITS
In recent years Mexico has gained attention for its prime wine offerings. A two-centuries-long wine tradition in Baja California in particular. Internationally acclaimed wineries are attracting visitors to the Guadalupe Valley, with more than 50 producers offer a taste of some 40 varietals. The Guadalupe Valley is just one of seven valleys between Ensenada and Tecate that are dedicated to the cultivation of grapes. The valleys produce 90% of all Mexican wines, or 1.2 millions cases of wine a year, of which 25% is exported abroad. The Guadalupe Valley, located 15 minutes inland from the Ensenada coast, hosts the biggest event in the region “The Vendimia”.
Tequila and Mezcal
Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave or maguey plant native to Mexico.
Studies reveal that mezcal production goes as far as 1500 B.C. and was made in different regions of México. In the 19th century the town of Tequila introduced a modern and industrialized way to produce mezcal. By the 1940s Mexican authorities had separated the tequila from mezcal and began regulating its production.
Five Key Differences between Tequila and Mezcal
Tequila agave species can only be used for tequila blue weber variety, while for mezcal production 14 different species can be used and can even be mixed.
2. Denomination of Origin
Currently a beverage can can only hold the name of tequila if it is made in these 5 states: Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. Mezcal, on the other hand, has denomination of origin in 9 states: Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas and Michoacán.
During 2015, the United States, Germany, Spain, France and Japan were the main consumers of tequila, since to these countries 182.9 million liters of the drink were exported. In that same year, the United States, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom were the major importers of mezcal, with a total of 1.9 million liters.
In the composition of tequila there may be up to 49 percent reducing sugars and other compounds (except the 100 percent variety). In contrast, mezcal is always made 100 percent agave.
Tequila is usually made in an industrial way, with ovens and copper stills, while mezcal is made in artisanal way with underground ovens and even with the use of animals in the process.