Guanajuato seeks to increase mezcal exports
Global demand for spirits such as mezcal is only increasing, and because of this, the state of Guanajuato is looking to expand its production for this year. Nationwide, the goal is to exceed the 3.8 million liters registered in 2015, according to the Maguey-Mezcal and Sotol Product System, a lobby group that represents hundreds of small producers across the country.
The demand is particularly significant in Europe and Asia, said Alfredo Conde, head of the group, who claimed these beverages are even gaining ground against brandy, whiskey, rum and cognac as an appetizer. In order to meet demand more than 2 million liters were exported last year.
Since mezcal, like tequila, is protected by a denomination of origin, that is, it can only be exported under that name if it was produced in specific areas, the government of Guanajuato has already requested the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property––IMPI––to change the Mezcal Declaration of Origin to include municipalities in the north and northeast of the state.
Currently there are only two municipalities included in the declaration, San Luis de la Paz and San Felipe, where local producers bottle up to 15,000 liters of 18 different brands per year.
To support the initiative, the state government presented a study with which it intends to demonstrate that the process and subprocesses for the elaboration of the spirit have been practiced for more than two centuries in 11 municipalities additional to the two that are already included in the declaration.