¡HEY HEY! AGAVE / 20 + Niki Nakazawa & Leonardo Comercio

May 18, 2020 2 min read

¡HEY HEY! AGAVE / 20 + Niki Nakazawa & Leonardo Comercio

 

 

20 + Niki Nakazawa & Leonardo Comercio

Neta Spirits / PM Spirits

We have two guests with us for this installment of the pod. Niki Nakazawa co-founder of the Agave Spirits Brand NETA and Leonardo Comercio of PM Spirits, an importer and distributor of small-production distillates made by artisan distillers from around the world.

Niki has lived in Mexico for the past 12 ½ years and has been involved in several culinary and spirits driven projects. In this conversation, we learn how Niki fell in love with agave spirits early on in her life and how her friendship with Max Rosenstock led them to bring Neta to the US market. 

We discuss how Max and Niki have built and developed their relationship with the cooperative of producers they work with called Grupo Productor Logoche from Logoche, in Lachigüizo which is a town outside of Miahautlan, Oaxaca. The group is composed of immediate and extended family who are mezcaleros and agave growers.

Leo tells how he was introduced to the brand and how PM came to import Neta, which is bottled as an agave spirit. We discuss PM Spirits' commitment to sourcing artisanal handcrafted spirits from around the world and their philosophy on how they build their portfolios. 

Finally, we touched on the different expressions Neta offers and specific production practices that make these spirits very special indeed.

Articles and links

PUNCH: The tricky business of ethical mezcal

K & L Spirits Journal: NETA - Spirits distilled from agave

Maps

Lachiguizo, Oaxaca, Mexico

 

1. The vivero (agave nursery)

 

2. The Logoche bottling facility with members of the cooperative

 

4. The horno in the early morning light

5., 6., 7.  The method of loading the maguey into the horno begins with laying out maguey pencas (agave leaves) before loading the maguey on top to roast (they will then cover the maguey with spent dampened fiber from a former production, palm mats and dirt to capture the heat - not shown here)

  

8. Co-founder Niki Nakazawa (photo credit: Sam Feather)

9. Co-founder Max Rosenstock (photo credit: Sam Feather)

Below are different varieties of A. karwinskii found in the region of Miahuatlán we are including the common names associated with them that Niki and Max provided.

 

10. Barreno

11. Cuixe verde (capón) and "de guia"

 

12. Madrecuixe

13. Bicuixe

 

14. Cuixe verde (photo credit: Eric Burg)

 

15. Tobaziche with its quiote

16. Young tobaziche pencas (leaves)

17. Cuixe verde

 

+ All images courtesy of Neta Spirits unless otherwise noted 

Sabrina Lessard
Sabrina Lessard



Also in ¡Hey Hey! Agave

¡Hey Hey! Agave / 27 + Lorena Teran Ibarra
¡Hey Hey! Agave / 27 + Lorena Teran Ibarra

June 14, 2021 4 min read

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. 

Read More
¡Hey Hey! Agave / 26 + Felix, Adriana & Fred
¡Hey Hey! Agave / 26 + Felix, Adriana & Fred

May 03, 2021 2 min read

Félix Hernandez Monterroza and his wife Adriana Correa are the co-founders of Agua del Sol. Fred Sanchez is the founder and managing partner of Bad Hombre Importing. We learn why they are committed to providing affordable traditional spirits to their communities and the important roles the maestr@s play within them.
Read More
¡Hey Hey! Agave / 25 + Martha Garza Vázquez
¡Hey Hey! Agave / 25 + Martha Garza Vázquez

March 28, 2021 4 min read

Martha Garza Vazquez joins us to talk about Cuero Viejo Mezcal, seasonal bottlings, the diverse ecology of Nombre de Dios and the magic that surrounds the region.
Read More

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST