17 + Elisandro Gonzalez Molina
/ Tosba Mezcal + PART TWO
In PART TWO, we discuss the traditional use of mezcal within Zapotec communities vs. the roll of mezcal in the international market. Elisandro explains some of the experiences he and Edgar have had within their community and how they are implementing initiatives to help support and sustain the community and the environment. Part of this collaboration is called GOZONA which is a native word used to describe how community members come together to help one another.
We taste Tosba’s latest Cenizo Agave expression (so exciting!) and Elisandro introduces us to their latest project DAKABEND, a Rum Agricole that hit the market last year.
ASK ELISANDRO ANYTHING!
Ask a question to Elisandro by emailing us or sending a DM. We will record a question and answer pod with him:) This is a great opportunity to follow up on the things we discussed and ask questions about topics we didn’t cover! Everything is on the table, so dig in!
/ Tosba Mezcal + PART ONE
PART ONE focusses on Elisandro and Edgar’s early life. He explains his experience growing up in the Sierra Norte region of Oaxaca in a town called San Cristobal Lachirioag which is a Zapotec community.
We discuss how he and Edgar decided to plant agaves before building their palenque, while they were both living and working in California. Elisandro takes us through the early days when they were just learning how to make mezcal, including how they built their palenque using an old roof from the local Mercado. We hear Elisandro’s perspective on the reality of mezcaleros and the difficulties they faced when certifying their destilados de agave.
We end the conversation with Elisandro explaining Edgar's production style and we review the expressions they currently offer in the US market.
Below are links to articles and videos about Tosba & related articles we discussed:
1. Camping Area for guests who come to visit the Tosba Palenque
2. Alambiques (alembic copper and stainless steel stills) for distillation
3. Wild Warash Agave. A native varietal of the region which they discovered will grow large with regular maintenance
4. Tinas (fermentation barrels)
5. A worker planting trees for their reforestation program
6. Reflection of the landscape in the condensation tank
7. A Warash and some caponed Tobala Agaves all grown from seed
8. A Tobala growing alongside mango trees
9. Cultivated Tobala Agaves
10. Baby Tobala agaves (hijuelos) in the nursery ready to be transplanted
11.,13. Different varietals of Tobala
12. A Tobala-looking Agave without spines on its leaves
15. Google Map
16. Wild Espadin Agave
17. View of the Sierra Norte
18. View overlooking San Cristobal Lachirioag
19. The machetes are ready!
20. Lighting the horno
21. Agave nursery
22. Planting agave's using a terrace design to accommodate the slope of the land
23. Warash agave piña
24. The first micro-batch of Warash piñas ready for the oven. This was the first harvest that was planted by seeds
25., 26. Sugar cane growing among the agave and corn (images courtesy of mezcalistas)
27. Crushed sugar cane (image courtesy of mezcalistas)
28. Edgar walking among sugar cane with lunch in hand (image courtesy of mezcalistas)
+ All images courtesy of Elisandro Gonzalez Molina and Tosba Mezcal unless otherwise noted
Lorena Terán Ibarra is the director of Copita Project for El Buho Mezcal where she leads the regenerative agriculture and educational programs.
Initiated by the founders of El Buho, the Copita Project seeks to replenish and preserve the balance of the natural environment while planting cultivated and semi-cultivated agaves.