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Thread: Lowland/highland - Jalisco/Tamaulipas ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Copenhagen, Denmark
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    Default Lowland/highland - Jalisco/Tamaulipas ?

    I am writing a small article on the differences between highland / Lowland tequilas but it would be really nice to have a good reference on what comes from where. Does anyone know a good listing or reference which takes into account whether a tequila is lowland or highland? And ... does anyone have views on what is to be preferred?

    Also I would like to know more on the difference between the two tequila states Jalisco and Tamaulipas. It seems that Tamaulipas is mainly producing for mixto's - is that right? Anyone? ...

    best regards
    Bjřrn

  2. #2
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    Aug 2008
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    The main site Tequila.net notes on every page where the agave for a brand is typically sourced, whether from the highlands or the valley. While both sources have definite differences I can't say that I prefer one over the other. There is too much production variation for me from both areas to not appreciate one over the other. There is also product out there that blends agave sourced from both areas. The advanced search function at Tequila.net will sort on those 2 criteria and apply it to the listed product.

    The basics of the 2 areas are usually described as more mineral and earthy (valley or lowlands as some call it) and more floral and fruity (highlands). The higher elevation leads to a longer grow cycle and the lower elevation is shorter. There are outstanding tequilas from both areas.


    Previous discussion:
    Highlands vs. Lowlands

    Chinaco is produced in Tamaulipas so I think the answer to that is probably not. Mixto tequila can come from all 5 states or portions of, that are authorized to produce tequila. I would think the predominate source would be Jalisco since about 95% of all tequila is produced there.
    Tequila Tourist likes this.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the good answer. While researching into this stuff I came ponder whether there will be a limit to how much tequila that can actually be produced and still be within the NOM criterions. If China imports as much tequila as the industry hopes, production will need to be at least doubled. But is it possible to produce that amount without creating environmental problems?

  4. #4
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    There are already anecdotal stories of non-denomination agave being trucked in to support the increase in demand, though why you would want to get caught up in that is a mystery to me. Some producers are already polluting parts of the countryside and there own fields with the by products from tequila production, so I would expect that in some cases this will get worse. See this article by Mike Morales Are Tequila Drinkers Killing the Environment? | for more info.

    As far as meeting demand I doubt that they can double the amount produced, at least not immediately, maybe not ever. Agave takes too long to mature at 7-10 years and once harvested it's gone. It takes another 7-10 years to regrow that crop. So unless there was some major capacity planning a couple of years ago, China is going to have to wait another 5-7 years to start seeing exports in quantity. Production still hasn't topped the level of production in 2008 when over 300 million liters were produced and 164 million liters were exported, 75% of that to the US.

    I'm still curious why the Chinese are now permitting tequila to be imported, as they have thought the methanol content was too high and potentially dangerous. Of course if you look at some of the moonshine and homebrew in China, you'd be lucky not to go blind from some of the concoctions they create.

    As a disclaimer, these are only my opinions of the questions you were asking above.

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