Big Mezcal Distillery May Be Built in Puebla StateBy Jan Hogewoning | Fri, 07/31/2020 - 09:21
According to statements by the governor of Puebla Miguel Barbosa Huerta, the company Tequila Don Ramon is interested in building a mezcal distillery in his state, El Economista reports. With a planned capacity enough to process 40,000ha of agave, it would become the biggest mezcal distillery in Latin America. The governor commented that the project started in December, but there have been delays because the company was struggling to connect enough patches of land planted with agave. The first option was the Atlixco municipality in the center of the state, where the highest concentration of agave plants is said to be found. Now they are looking at the locality of Tepeaca, where the acquisition of land is still ongoing. Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, official announcements by the company are said to be delayed.
According to the governor, the distillery would bring welcome employment to the area and it would also help to ‘solidify’ the denomination of origin of mezcal that Puebla was granted in 2015. Mezcal’s denomination of origin is a contentious issue in Mexico, with the state of Oaxaca successfully winning a case in July 2019 that definitively suspended Morelos, Aguascalientes and State of Mexico’s right to use the “mezcal” name. At the time, Governor Alejandro Murat stated that all mezcal that is not from Oaxaca is a copy. While Oaxaca can claim the widest variety of agave plants and the biggest production of mezcal, the wild agave plant is found naturally in many parts of Mexico. The aforementioned Puebla locality forms part of what is known as the Mezcalero corridor, which counts 250,000ha of agave plant.
Another interesting detail is the governor of Puebla specified that the project was part of the Sembrando Vida federal scheme. This scheme seeks to help small agricultural producers to create more sustainable mixed-agroforest plots. This detail seems to suggest that the project may be receiving federal government subsidies.