The Jalisco Highlands: Tequila Terroir and Production

Read Time: 4 min.

When you pour a smooth, elegant tequila, you may not realize everything that’s gone into making such a fine product. For instance, did you know it can take more than six years from the date of planting for the blue agave plant to mature and yield its harvest?

In this article, we’re going to talk about the importance of location in terms of sourcing your tequila product. If you’re considering starting your own premium tequila brand, you’ll want to learn about the ideal terroir for producing the world’s best tequila.

Why Is Terroir Important?

Choosing terroir wisely is crucial for any type of wine or spirit producer. The natural environment has a tremendous impact on the quality of the end product. Soil type, geographic topography, and climate all play huge roles in growth, harvest, and production.

The same way that you can taste the richness and authenticity in a Napa Valley cabernet or a rosé from Provence, each type of liquor has specific environmental conditions making a certain region the perfect place for its production. Terroir grounds an alcoholic drink, giving it a sense of place. These regional characteristics shine through in the product’s flavors, colors, and aromas.

Tequila’s source of origin, of course, is not the grape but the blue agave plant. This spiky succulent yields a hearty piña, or heart, over the course of several years. This is no small piece of the plant — the agave heart can weigh over 100 pounds!

The agave piñas take at least six years to mature before they can be harvested, steamed in steel autoclaves, or slow roasted in hornos (brick ovens.) The heating process softens the agave heart, making the sugar extraction possible, and the juice flows forth through the crushing process. Obviously, soil, topography, and climate will have a sizable impact on the growth rate of blue agave crops, as well as the individual plant’s overall development.

Why Choose Los Altos de Jalisco?

There’s a reason that premium and ultra-premium tequilas, including the most well-known brands, are produced in the Highlands of Jalisco. Although five states have a denomination of origin, Los Altos is the one place where the largest production of tequila is centered.

Why Invest In A Tequila Business Right Now?

If you are considering investing in a tequila business in 2021, you could not have chosen a better time. Markets are high, and demand is growing for premium and ultra-premium tequilas, and it’s easier than ever to work with a quality-minded producer who will help you succeed. 

The high altitude of this region, sitting around 6,000-8,000 feet, means the climate is superlative for growing agave. The plant’s roots grow deep, absorbing the minerals in the earth’s rocky crust. Because the agave often grows on slopes and mountainsides, it is much hardier than the agave in lowland regions. In fact, surviving through chilly spells causes the plant’s sugar to “rush,” producing a sweeter, fruitier alcohol.

The Los Altos area has thousands of hectares planted with agave tequilana, specifically the Blue Weber Agave. The reddish soil characteristic of the region also makes it a prime place for growing this type of agave. The knowledgeable jimadors, or specialized agave farmers, harvest and process the plant using time-tested techniques.

As a result of the pristine soil conditions, the optimal climate, and the Mexican agave farming heritage, Los Altos de Jalisco yields the finest spirits. Each one contains hints of herbal flavors and fruity notes as well as more sugars and starches than that produced in the lowlands, or the Valley of Tequila.

The Aceves Spirits Difference

If you’re considering creating or investing in a new tequila brand, you’ll want to find trusted tequila makers in México. Entrusting your brand to an integrated beverage developer like Aceves Spirits is a smart business decision. With three generations of agave farming and tequila development expertise, we’re positioned to help you through every step of the process, from farm to bottle.

Not only is Aceves located directly in the heart of Los Altos de Jalisco, but we don’t source our blue agave from any other region. Don’t hand your dream beverage over to a developer that won’t maintain the highest ingredient integrity. At Aceves Spirits, we don’t rest until the product is perfected, with smoothness and flavor for easy enjoyment.

Tell us about your tequila brand idea and your target client and we’ll help bring out the beverage’s finest flavors and aromas, giving it an authentic and desirable profile.