Its extended period to reach maturation – up to 35 years – together with its excellent adaptation to extreme terrain, translates into finely settled sugars that produce Tepeztate’s sweet, spicy, earthy, and intensely vegetal flavor profile.
To create a single bottle of Tepeztate, we need 25 kg of agave. Depending on whether it’s the rainy or dry season, Tepeztate ferments for between 4 and 6 days in pine wood vats and is subsequently distilled twice in a copper still. Through the first distillation, or primary distillation, the distillate can reach 30% ABV.
The Tepeztate maguey is a fascinating agave for its long lifespan and ability to thrive in extreme conditions. One of the longest living magueys, Tepeztate has a shallow root system and can reach 25 to 35 years of age. It develops best in dry soils, preferably between rocks to drape its leaves over. Tepeztate’s leaves are wide and twisted at birth and have a small ripple at the tip.
As an endemic Mexican agave, and more specifically to Oaxaca, Tepezate’s growth and reproduction is limited to the low forests and scrub of the Sierra Madre del Sur, from the eastern end of the Balsas River to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Its most singularly defining trait is the extended period it needs to reach maturation, between 25 and 35 years.