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Durango, Mexico

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100% Cenizo Agave

Wild harvested

TRAGO SAGRADO

Trago Sagrado means Sacred Drink, an appropriate description for a mezcal that fell from Heaven.

Completely handmade without the use of electricity or motor vehicles, Trago Sagrado Mezcal pours out the taste of authentic Mexico.

 

The producers have not changed their method in over 200 years.  

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How it's made

The Agave Durangensis, called locally Maguey Cenizo, grow wild in the mountains of Durango, Mexico.  They are harvested after reaching 12 -15 years maturity.

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When the Cenizo Agave sends up a long stem in the center called a quiote, it indicates the plant is nearing the end of its life cycle at about 12 years old. The men of Trago Sagrado cut off the quiote so that the plant produces concentrated sap. Three years later the men return to harvest it.  They chop off the long, spiked leaves with a spade and take only the heart, which looks like a pineapple. Hence, they call the agave heart a piña.

The hearts contain the delicious sap that will eventually turn to mezcal after a lot more work. The men spend 4 days gathering enough agave for a single batch of mezcal.  It will take 8 kilos of agave hearts to make a single liter of mezcal.

Burros transport the agave hearts down the mountains.  The rugged mountains make these donkeys necessary, and they have strong backs to carry many piñas.  

They unload the agave at their remote mountain distillery. This place still has no electricity, and everything is completed just as it was 200 years ago.

 

In a pit, the mescaleros prepare the outdoor oven that will cook the agave. They light a wood fire of mesquite that was also gathered from the mountains.  It is left to burn down to charcoal.

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After a 6 hour burn that heats up the stones lining the pit, they cover the charcoal with more lava stones to absorb the heat and keep it consistent. 

Pulp leftover from the last batch is then placed over the hot stones to provide a protective barrier so that the agave won't burn from direct contact.

Next the agave is split in half and piled up on top of the pulp. The agave is covered with a canvas blanket to keep it clean.  A thick layer of dirt will cover the canvas and serve as the insulation to keep the oven hot for 5-7 days.

This natural oven gently cooks the agave for a week, preserving all the delicate flavors of the wild agave plants.  It also imparts a gentle, smokey aroma to the mezcal.

The earthen oven is then disassembled and the softened agaves are carted into the distillery.

The men place the cooked agave inside open pits for the mashing. At other, less traditional mescalerías, a horse will rotate a large millstone wheel to crush the agave. At Trago Sagrado, however, the process is all done by hand.  The men chop up the agave with axes in a manner reminiscent of the gentle maceration method used by small craft wineries.  It preserves the delicate flavors of the wild Cenizo agave.

Fermentation occurs spontaneously once water is added to the mash in subterranean pits.   A natural spring supplies the water, and wild yeasts supply the spontaneous fermentation. Everything is 100% wild and natural in Trago Sagrado Mezcal.

Th fermented juice, called vino de agave, will be run through the still 2-3 times to reach the purity desired for mezcal. A wood fire is again used to heat the still.

Trago Sagrado bottles the precious liquid by hand, each one undergoing a careful quality inpsection so that every sip is perfect. 

To maintain sustainability for future generations, Trago Sagrado replants the wild agave they harvested with little seedlings from their own nursery.

A Sacred Drink - Natural from Start to Finish

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