wahaka mezcal

Crafting Wahaka Mezcal is a ritual that lasts an average of 25 days for a single 300-liter batch. After harvesting 7-year-old Espadin, the agave hearts are then cooked for up to five days in an earthen pit using ocote (pine) wood. They are then crushed under a tahona (a traditional millstone) pulled by Pacquiau, the trusty mare. The agave is then fermented in wooden, open-air vats with distilled water and naturally occurring yeasts. Finally, it is distilled twice in a copper alembic where it is transformed into perfectly pure, artisanally crafted mezcal — from Maestro Beto’s hand to yours.

Wahaka Mezcal is the result of several childhood friends from Mexico City who turned their passion for Mexico’s oldest distilled spirit into a sustainably produced, community-focused, and internationally recognized brand. In 2010, these amigos set out to find Mexico’s finest mezcal. After months of intensely researching, travelling, and tasting their way through Oaxaca, they found kindred spirits in maestro mezcalero Alberto “Beto” Morales Mendez and his family, who, for five generations, have been perfecting the art of making mezcal in San Dionisio Ocotepec, a tiny village in the Central Valley of Oaxaca. Together they created Wahaka, and with it, a new model for mezcal brands, one that was as committed to making an award-winning product as it was supporting the community from which flourishes. Unlike any other spirit, mezcal is a product of its terroir—and you can taste the Spirit of Oaxaca in every drop of this artisanally crafted, small-batch elixir.

The Zapotec highlands are known for their rich cultural mosaic, as well as for their unrivaled biodiversity; Oaxaca is home to the widest range of agave varieties anywhere in the world. And it’s here that Maestro Beto, a founding member and equal shareholder of the Wahaka brand, manages the family palenque in San Dionisio, overseeing the process of bringing our mezcal from harvest Maestro Alberto Morales to market, using traditional distilling processes that are more than 400 years old. Some spirit brands choose to take advantage of modern industrial processes, but Wahaka chooses to place great emphasis on preserving mezcal’s authentic history and its traditions. As such, they make mezcal almost exactly as their ancestors did centuries ago.

The agave for Joven Espadín and Reposado con Gusano is sustainably farmed on their San Dionisio estate. Because Espadín agave is harvested after 10 years of maturity, Wahaka's spirits are truly a labor of love and patience. The Morales family planted the agave used to produce the current vintage almost a decade ago.

During the harvest season, the team of life-long cortadores painstakingly heads into the Oaxacan lowlands to collect Madre Cuishe agave and the cliffsides and high mountain peaks to gather Tobalá. Both of these wild agaves are particularly sensitive to their growing environments, and so only small amounts are taken from the ground each year, to ensure the plants’ longevity and many more years of producing wonderfully unique spirits. To make mezcal is to be in a constant balance with Mother Nature. With the utmost respect for that ecological equilibrium, they sustainably cultivate Espadin and responsibly replant more Tobala and Madre Cuishe than they harvest.