The Golden Triangle Of The Tequila Industry

In this day and age, Tequila is not just a party drink anymore. The spirit has undergone a recent revival, relocating itself to the world of premium drinks where it is sipped and savored. 

We all know that there’s a big difference between bar-rail Tequila and what craft distilleries in Mexico have to offer.  There are two important major regions in Mexico, El Valle, and Los Altos, which are at the center of the mezcal movement. El Valle is located in the lowlands while Los Altos is in the highlands of the state.

In the highlands, the soil is rich with minerals. Also, as the nights are cooler, the flavor of Tequila has much more florality and lightness to it.

Today we’re going to explore an area in the highlands which is often regarded as ‘’The Golden Triangle of the Tequila Industry”’

Introduction to Tequila

Highland vs Lowland

At first glance, the agave fields of the Jalisco highlands look very hostile. However, the neverending landscape of spiky leaves is one of the most culturally celebrated regions in Mexico.

The towns that are a part of the famous ‘’Golden Triangle’’ are Arandas, Atotonilco el Alto, and Jesus Maria. Just like with wine, the temperature and the amount of rain will affect the taste of the agave plant. 

This region is rich in red clay, mineral-rich soil and has cooler temperatures. This allows the growth of larger agave plants, along with higher sugar content.  Because of this, tequilas made in the highlands are sweeter and tropical in flavor.

When we compare tequilas from the valley and the highlands, we realize that they are very different in taste. Namely, due to the volcanic terrain, Valley tequilas are kind of masculine‒earthy and full of herbaceous qualities.  On the other hand, tequilas from the “Golden Triangle’’ are more feminine‒fruity, round, and sweet.

Interestingly, the blue agave is native to the Tequila Valley region. In the 1800s people took the agave plant to the highlands and that is when it all began. The first production of Tequila in the highlands began in 1903, and ironically, today it is valued more than Valley Tequila.

Los Altos

The soil of Los Altos is called Tierra Roya. The earth is rich with clay and iron giving it a deep red color.  This distinctive soil generates terroir that is also rich in acidity, and the mix between fine sand encourages healthy plant growth. As a result, the agave plants can grow twice the size as those in the Valley and have a much higher sugar content. So, what’s the reason for the unusual phenomenon?

The answer is stress. Los Altos has less rainfall, the nights are cooler, and sometimes in winter, it gets cold enough for a little dust of snow. During these low temperatures, the agave plants almost go dormant and rely on whatever water, minerals, and sugars are available to them. Consequently, this stress creates a more delicate tequila flavor profile which includes citrus, white flowers, and higher sugar content that can remind you of fresh fruits.

Why Choose to Work with a Distillery From the Highlands?

So, if you finally decided to create your Tequila private label, you’re probably wondering why you should choose a distillery in the highland region. 

Well, it all depends on the consumers you’re trying to reach. If your target customers are fans of sweeter and fruiter-tasting tequila, then we recommend you find a distillery in the highlands.

Most tequila lovers think that the quality of tequila depends only on region and production processes. This may be true to some extent, however, the tequila production process is far more complicated. For instance, two maestro tequileros can use the same machinery and can get tremendously different results. Furthermore, the age of agaves that are used and cooked can produce a different product from agave plants from the same region.

Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of the ‘’Golden Triangle’ region and want to partner up with a distillery and create your tequila, we suggest that you visit the region and taste, taste, taste. Remember, the Los Altos region of Jalisco is the second-largest Tequila producing region in Mexico, and is home to one of the best premium brands such as Don Julio and Patron. So if you’ve decided to start your journey into the tequila industry, we suggest you begin your search for distilleries in the towns of Arandas, Atotonilco El Alto, and Jesus Maria.


With all this being said, creating your Tequila private label sounds just like a real adventure. However, if you’re new to the industry and don’t know the region and Mexican laws, your quest could end up as a disaster. So, to succeed, hire experienced professionals from this region such as Aceves Spirits, and let them guide you into the passionate world of Tequila. Work with Aceves Spirits, and give life to your Tequila private label.