Lalo sees his mezcales as an expression of his village, Santa Catarina Minas - the community and its traditions, as well as the land itself. That starts with agave grown in the fields and mountains of Minas. The village’s altitude, climate and soil make for slow growth. Where agave espadín grown in most parts of Oaxaca will reach maturity in around seven years, in Minas they can take up to 12, giving the plants even more time to soak up the terroir.

Lalo currently plants four times more agave than he harvests. Along with our friends at SACRED, they’ve built two greenhouses to supply local mezcaleros with baby agaves grown from seed at cost - a project that has promotes both environmental and economic sustainability in a time when international demand and big brands have driven the cost of agave too high for many small producers who only have access to local markets.