Nhis la’ay ya’a
An ancient Zapotec saying meaning:
“blessed water of the mountains”
How do we make our mezcal so that it is
authentic from the mountains?
Santa Maria Albarradas is a magical Aapotec village in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. The mezcal made here honors its people and their traditions, their culture and their spirit through a totally artisanal process of cultivation and elaboration.
Agaves grow and mature naturally on mountain slopes, at over 1700 meters above sea level, where a soil composed of a mixture of red, gray and black clay together with a unique microclimate nurture their growth. This organic process creates the perfect concentration of natural sugars and minerals that give our mezcals characteristics of elegance, balance and depth.
Harvest and jima
Our fellow artisans of the Martinez Perez family carefully select agave plants with the ideal natural ripeness. They then jim the piñas or hearts (they separate the leaves from the agave to leave the heart clean) using a technique inherited from their ancestors, which leaves a small piece of the root of the leaves in the heart of the plant. This results in a unique flavor to our final product.
The agave piñas are taken to our mountaintop palenque, where we use a unique cooking technique that involves placing the agave in volcanic stone ovens with firewood and covering it with palm fronds hand-woven by the women of the village. These meshes are naturally porous, allowing excess smoke to escape to produce subtle and refined smoky notes.
After we finish cooking the agaves for six days, we then transfer them to our round stone pit with traditional horse-drawn tahona, where they are ground for several hours into pulp.
From there, we transfer the pulp to our pinewood vats and add our local spring water from one of the 12 springs that occur naturally in our beloved town. We leave it for 6 days so that the natural fermentation can act freely and absorb the natural aromas of the mountain range.
We distill twice in our traditional Arabic copper still, the result is a unique mezcal with really smooth, fresh and herbaceous aromas and flavors.