Blue Agave Tequilana Weber: What You Should Know About This Interesting and Complex Plant
For the past several years, tequila has been growing into one of the most popular beverages on the planet. Why is tequila so popular? Because of the strict requirements for producing authentic Mexican tequila. One of the most important requirements is that the Blue Agave Tequilana Weber plant be used to produce tequila.
This article explains what is necessary for producing the highest quality blue agave plants. We also go into detail about why the unique conditions in certain regions of Mexico are necessary to produce the finest blue agave plants. Last, the article shows how you can produce your own authentic Mexican tequila.
Agaves in Mexico
There are 136 species of the Mexican agave plant. A few of these plants are suitable for producing alcoholic beverages such as mezcal and agave wine. But only one plant can produce tequila: the Blue Agave Tequilana Weber also known as the blue agave. The blue agave plants are most common in the state of Jalisco.
Blue Agave Tequilana Weber
Mexican law requires the blue agave plant to be used to produce tequila. That’s because the blue agave plant is the Mexican agave plant that can produce the highest quality beverage.
It’s called blue because when standing near the blue agave plant, it looks blue. The complete name, blue agave tequilana weber comes from the German naturalist, Franz Weber, that named the plant while on an expedition to Mexico in the early 1900s.
Blue agave plants have a horizontal root system. For this reason, if a farmer plants the blue agave too close to another blue agave, there will not be enough nutrients available to allow the plants to reach their full potential.
The blue agave has spikey fleshly leaves. On first glance, you may think the blue agave is part of the cactus family. It is not. All Mexican agave plants are part of the lily family. When you first see these plants, you’ll notice they secrete a waxy substance. This secretion is necessary to reduce water loss during the hottest parts of the day.
The 5 Terroir Conditions the Blue Agave Needs To Reach Its Full Potential
Many factors go into producing the highest quality blue agave plants. These factors include :
· The right temperature range
· A good rainy season
· The right soil
· Slight inclines
· The right soil PH levels
The blue agave needs a lot of sun. It thrives in warm temperatures. It’s best if the temperature does not drop below 5 degrees Celsius or 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
These plants need a good rainy season. The rainy season in Jalisco is ideal, as it occurs in some of the hottest months of the year — from May to July.
The blue agave needs loose soft soil for its horizontal root system to grow. The iron-rich red clay soil of the highlands and the lava-enriched soil of the lowlands of Jalisco are ideal for blue agave plants.
Blue agave plants need to be grown on a slight incline. This prevents erosion of the soil and water-logging of the plants. Agave plants should not have too much water if they’re to reach their full potential.
The soil’s PH-level must be right to grow blue agave. Seven on the PH-scale is the perfect balance between acidity and alkalinity. Blue agave plants need this perfect balance to absorb the nutrients in the soil.
5 States in Mexico
Under Mexican law, to be called tequila, anyone who makes tequila must produce it within the state of Jalisco or in some parts of four other Mexican states. The other states are:
It isn’t just Mexican law that applies. Similar to the requirement by many international organizations that the champagne label only be allowed for sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France, international organizations require that tequila labels must comply with Mexican law. For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and trading partners such as the European Union require compliance with Mexican law for tequila labeling.
These laws matter. These laws exist because the best regions in the world for growing the blue agave plant are in the areas of Mexico designated by the Mexican government. The government requires a product worthy of being called tequila to be made from the blue agave plant.
If you’re wondering how to make your own tequila, the answer is you’ll need to come to one of the five states in Mexico where tequila production is allowed. But if you’re wondering how to start a tequila brand, there is a much easier way to produce your own authentic Mexican tequila.
Jalisco Valleys and Highlands
So where is the best place in Mexico to grow the blue agave plant? Undoubtedly, the answer is within Jalisco. But there is debate among tequila connoisseurs about which part of Jalisco produces the best tequila. Is it the highlands or the lowlands?
Though surveys show a slight advantage for the highlands (Los Altos), it is really a matter of personal taste. Because of the iron-rich soil and the lower temperatures, the blue agave plant grows much larger in the highlands. Tequila made in the highlands is sweeter and fruitier.
In the lowlands, they grow blue agave plants in soil enriched by ancient lava flows from the Tequila Volcano. The tequila from these plants has a more herbal and peppery taste. Even these lowlands, also known as El Valle, are 2,500 to 3,500 feet above sea level.
How To Create Your Own Private Tequila Label
You don’t have to move to Mexico, purchase a blue agave farm, and construct a distillery to produce your own premium tequila from Jalisco Mexico. The better way is to work with an integrated beverage developer like Aceves Spirits to help you with your tequila design and deal with suppliers for you. As a division of Casa Aceves, we have three generations of expertise to guide you to the bespoke tequila you desire.
The blue agave plant can only reach its full potential if grown in certain regions of Mexico. There are several critical factors, including temperature, rain, soil, the PH-level in the soil, and the incline of the earth, that producers must consider when growing the finest blue agave plants.
At Aceves Spirits, we look forward to helping you create your own private label and private brand of authentic Mexican tequila made only from the finest blue agave plants grown in the highlands of Jalisco.
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