Watch: This Is How Small-Production Mezcal Is Made

I was in a van with an experienced crew, including Ava Gene's chef-owner, Joshua McFadden, and the CEO of Modern Adventure, Luis Vargas. The dirt road stretching through the arid Mexican landscape was so bumpy I was spilling mezcal everywhere. But it was in a bowl-shaped gourd: The mission was impossible by design.

Modern Adventure is a newly minted luxury tour company that racked up $1M in investments last fall, and I'd recently met Luis at a party Modern Adventure hosted in Portland in December. I was impressed with the quality of the tour offerings, and it was just good luck I happened to be in Oaxaca a few weeks later, when they were rolling through.

We spent the day touring Lalocura Mescalaria, a mezcal distillery in Santa Catarina Minas, near Oaxaca, Mexico. The owner, Eduardo √Āngeles, took us into the fields to see the mezcal harvest and revealed the diversity of small-production mezcal, something I'd never experienced in the U.S. They weren't all smoky! And the best ones demonstrated the inherent flavors of the different agave varieties used to make them.

Step into Eduardo's world in the video below. Watch the visually mesmerizing agave harvest, and learn why you have to visit Oaxaca to taste the real deal. And a huge thank you to Modern Adventure for letting me tag along, and to Luis for serving as an impromptu translator.

A Real-Deal Mezcal Tour: From Agave Harvest to Heroic Sampling


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