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Mezcal faces the same problems with its monoculture as tequila: with emphasis on the espadin agave as the source for 95% of all mezcal, a weakened gene pool from decades of cloning is exacerbated by the growing demand for product. In the 1960s, pinas averaged 200 kgs - today they average only 50 kg. Some companies, like Scorpion, are cultivating other agave for production, including the rare tobala and the massive aruqueno.
Updated May, 2011
In Tequila Country
On the first segment of the road joining the cities of Guadalajara and Tequila, there is a convergence of contrasts, not unlike the dialogue between thirst and water.
Vicente Quirate, in Tequila: a traditional art of Mexico.
The blue agave used to make tequila can legally be grown in only five areas in Mexico: The entire state of Jalisco, plus small parts of Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Guanajuato and Michoacan. This is Tequila Country.
may be grown elsewhere, but not for use in tequila production.
The second-largest producing area is Los
Altos, or the highlands, centred around the town of Arandas, about
135 kms. east of Guadalajara. the highland city of Tepatitlan and the town
of Atotonlico both have tequila producers, as well.
In this section you will read about getting the the lands of the blue agave, things to look for, where to stay, and about the forum tours in 2006 and 2007. As Douglas Menuez calls it in his book, Heaven, Earth, tequila, This is the heart of Mexico. It is not a tourist resort, not a Disneyworld for gringos to play and drink then go home thinking they actually had a Mexican experience. This is the real Mexico.
2009: World Tequila Conference, Sept. 13-18, Guadalajara. Click for more information.