Communities in which we work:
Santa Catarina Minas
A quaint village about 45 minutes outside of Oaxaca city in the Ocotlán valley, Minas is highly regarded for maintaining the tradition of distilling their mezcal in clay pots. A practice that might date back 3,500 years, it´s a tradition that is quickly being lost; we visit with some of the producers who are committed to keeping this type of mezcal production alive. Minas produces the ultimate small batch mezcal, typical productions are about 90 liters! We tour mezcal production sites known as palenques, learning about the distillation process, the history of the distillery and the beverage directly from the maestro mezcalero, mezcal producers, eat where the locals do, and of course sample mezcal right at its source. Depending on if you book a half or full day, we visit 1 or 2 palenques. You can purchase this extremely rare mezcal directly from the producers, we gladly help you pack it for travel.
Teotitlán del Valle
This indigenous Zapotec village is nestled in the Tlacolula valley, 40 minutes outside of Oaxaca city. While surrounded by magueyes and mezcal production, Teotitlán is known for its incredible handmade rugs and textiles. Since pre-Hispanic times, the people of this village have been using naturales materials to hand dye their wool. While the village prides itself on its rich textile history, it is also considered a culinary treasure within Oaxaca´s 8 regions. Dishes particular to this village include segueza, a pre-hispanic mole, mole amarillo de pan or mole de castilla, as well as other Oaxacan favorites like tamales, mole negro, and sopa de guías. Partnering with the first all women's cooperative in the village, we hear about their amazing story as well as learn from them the secrets of Zapotec design, natural dye, and traditional cooking as well as tradicional medicine.
Known in Zapotec culture as the place where souls pass from this life to the next, Mitla is home to world renown ruins boasting beautiful grecos. It might be equally as famous for its chocolate de agua blanca (white water hot chocolate); drinking it is a truly an otherworldly experience! An hour outside of Oaxaca, we explore Mitla´s regional gastronomy as well as visit with an antiques dealer who has a vast knowledge of the region's history as well as a large collection of mezcal storing vessels-black clay cantaros and glass damajuanas and garrafones. In our Handcrafted Goods Outings we explore weaving on back strap and peddle looms in this village.
The economic and cultural hub of the Sierra Sur, the Miahutalán area is a biodiversity hotspot. It boasts an immense variety of mezcal producing agaves endemic to the area, resulting in some of the most complex and rare mezcals in all of Mexico. The region's cuisine creates a perfect compliment to its traditional drink resulting in regional specialities like shobatá, a bean soup with masa dumplings, and a party favorite, barbacoa de chivo, or goat roasted in an earth oven. The Monday market is not to be missed as people from the surrounding communities come to the market to sell their goods: organic and heirloom vegetables from their fields, wild honey, freshly baked bread, traditional mezcal, and strange local delicacies like palo de chile. Literally translated it means chili stick: a twig that when you nibble on it, it makes your mouth go temporarily numb! A great substitute for salsa when you're on the go. We offer several mezcal, gastronomic, and artisan experiences in this region to dive deep into the cultural heritage of traditional mezcal.