Our Geographical Roots: Origins of Tequila

Our Geographical Roots: Origins of Tequila

Tequila’s Birthplace

The town of Tequila, located in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, is universally recognized as the birthplace of tequila

Nestled in a region characterized by red volcanic soil and a unique climate, Tequila has been the heart of the agave spirit for centuries. This quaint town is not only a hub of historical significance but also a thriving center for the production and appreciation of tequila. Visitors can explore distilleries, sample various types of tequila, and learn about the rich cultural heritage that surrounds this iconic beverage.

Importance of the region in production: Where can tequila be made?

The region of Jalisco, particularly around the town of Tequila, plays a crucial role in the production of tequila. The specific soil and climate conditions in this area are ideal for growing the Blue Weber Agave, the only type of agave used to produce authentic tequila. 

The combination of mineral-rich volcanic soil and the region’s unique microclimate contributes to the distinct flavor profile of tequila. Furthermore, the centuries-old traditions and techniques passed down through generations in this region ensure that the quality and authenticity of tequila remain unparalleled.

Designation of Origin

The designation of origin for tequila is a legal framework established to protect the authenticity and quality of this iconic spirit.

Legal requirements for tequila production areas

According to Mexican law, tequila can only be produced in certain regions, primarily in the state of Jalisco, and in limited areas in the states of:

  • Guanajuato.
  • Michoacán.
  • Nayarit.
  • And Tamaulipas.

This designation ensures that only agave spirits produced in these specific regions, under strict regulations, can be labeled as tequila. The regulations cover various aspects of production, including the type of agave used, the production process and the aging criteria, all aimed at maintaining the high standards and cultural heritage of tequila. This legal protection not only preserves the unique qualities of tequila but also supports the local economies and traditions of the designated regions.

Origin of Tequila

Pre-Hispanic roots

The origins of tequila can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico, long before the arrival of the Spanish. Indigenous peoples such as the Aztecs and the Nahuatl tribes fermented the sap of the agave plant to produce a milky, alcoholic beverage known as pulque

Pulque was not only consumed for its intoxicating effects but also held a significant place in religious and cultural rituals. The agave plant, revered as a sacred gift from the gods, played a central role in the daily life and spiritual practices of these pre-Hispanic communities.

Influence of Spanish colonization

The landscape of agave spirits changed dramatically with the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. The Spaniards introduced distillation techniques they had learned from the Moors, which they applied to the indigenous agave fermentation practices. This fusion of indigenous and European methods led to the creation of the first distilled agave spirits, the precursors to modern tequila.

From pulque to modern tequila

The evolution from pulque to modern tequila is a testament to the adaptability and innovation of Mexican culture.

Initially, the distilled agave spirits produced by the Spanish were rough and unrefined. Over the centuries, however, improvements in distillation technology and production methods led to a smoother, more refined product. By the 19th century, tequila as we recognize it today began to take shape, distinguished by its unique flavor profile and higher alcohol content compared to its pulque ancestor.

The introduction of aged tequilas, such as reposado and añejo, further diversified the offerings and appeal of tequila. Today, tequila is celebrated worldwide, not only as a beverage but also as a symbol of Mexican heritage and craftsmanship.

Altos Tequila: Quality from Jalisco

Altos Tequila stands out as a top-quality brand. Known for its commitment to traditional production methods, Altos uses 100% Blue Weber Agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, ensuring a rich and authentic flavor. Altos employs the traditional tahona stone to crush the agave, a technique that enhances the tequila’s depth and complexity. Altos Tequila has received numerous awards, including recognition at the San Francisco Spirits Competition, affirming its status as a super-premium tequila choice.