Monday, 2 May 2016

Carlos Camarena in "Rancho La Latilla

Having talked with Carlos the producer of Ocho in late February I have some bits of information from him.

Carlos and 2 other 'agaveros' -those that grow agaves- are doing a "Bat Friendly" program. This is a commitment to leave between 5 and 10% of their planted agaves go to 'quiote'-the flowering, reproductive stalk of the agave. Normally this is not done because the generation of the 'quiote' will render the agave useless since it robs the plant's energy. 

To allow these 'quiotes' to grow will encourage the bats that cross pollinate agaves to regenerate their number which has been diminishing in recent years. The overall goal is to encourage the survival of the Blue agave weber tequiliana by having a stronger variety of genes. There is concern on the part of many that the Blue agave -the only variety allowable for use in the making of tequila-is in jeopardy because it is a monoculture.

Carlos is planting other varieties of agaves on parts of his land in the hopes that the genetics in the Blue agave will strengthen by cross pollinating. This will likely take decades.


Carlos has 800K agaves and is planting in 2016 another 220K.

The Mexican market for Carlos' products including Ocho is 60% reposado, 30% blanco and 10% añejo.

Of the 170 registered tequila distilleries 55-73 are producing.

A lot of 4-5 year old agaves are being used by others for tequila production and even 3-4 year old plants are used. This will definitely affect flavor.

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