Mezcal made from Espadín, a cultivated (versus wild) varietal of the agave plant, is by far the most common varietal you are likely to find in your local liquor store, cocktail bars or restaurants. Espadín is the most common and most accessible in terms of price, because it is the most productive and the easiest to cultivate. Relative to other varietals, Espadín matures the fastest: between four and nine years depending on the terroir.
While Erstwhile Mezcal is known for its forte in small-batch artisanal mezcal made from wild, more “exotic” varietals of agave, we are extremely proud and stand 110% behind our signature Espadín mezcal. In fact, we challenge you to find a better-tasting Espadín. That is how confident we are about our Espadín, though of course reasonable minds can differ when it comes to matters of the heart.
Who is the producer that crafted Erstwhile Mezcal’s signature Espadín?
Meet Silverio García Luis and Epifania Gómez Mejía, a producer family of Zapotec heritage based in Rancho Blanco Güilá, Oaxaca. Counting Silverio and Epifania, there has been at least three generations of mezcaleros in the García family.
Epifania did not grow up in a mezcal family, but learned the ropes and became a mezcalera of her own right after marrying into the García family. She was recently recognized as a Woman in Mezcal in the January 2020 edition of El Mezcal, an online publication by the Mezcal Regulatory Council (also known as the CRM, short for Consejo Regulador del Mezcal).
Click here (see pages 14-15 for English version) or here (Spanish version) to read the CRM’s recognition of Epifania as a Woman in Mezcal. Léelo en español aquí.
The legacy and craft of artisanal mezcal production have deep roots in te García family. Silverio and Epifania learned the craft from Silverio’s father, renowned master mezcalero Lorenzo Antonio García (Don Lencho, as he is commonly known).
In February 2016, The Mezcal Regulatory Council (CRM) in Mexico recognized Don Lencho as a Cultural Treasure of Mezcal, a remarkable and rare honor reserved for the few master mezcaleros who are known for excellent mezcal and have preserved the virtuosity of artisanal mezcal production for at least 60 years.
Check out Erstwhile Mezcal’s blog post about the García family for more photos and stories!