Picking and planting
Cuttings referred to as “baby agaves” (hijuelos) are taken from more mature agave plants. These baby agaves are planted by hand. It is at this stage that lower quality agaves are sifted out.
Fact: Our agaves don’t grow in big, artificial greenhouses; they grow out in the highland fields.
Our fieldworkers (jimadores) have years of experience, and they care for the agaves with their hands and hearts from the time they are planted to when they are harvested, which can be up to twelve years. They work the Sierra fields without the help of machines, which allows the plants to benefit from their natural environment in peace.
Fact: Destilería Sierra was one of the first tequila distilleries in the world to stop using artificial fertilizer on its fields.
Harvesting and transport
On average, agaves grow for about 7 to 12 years until they are harvested. Every agave is an individual. Therefore, Anejo Tequila takes about 12 to 15 years in production until it can be consumed.
Fact: The jimador waits for the moment when the inner leaves of the agave are longer than the outer ones. That is the ideal time to harvest. The agaves are harvested individually by hand by the jimadores using a coa, which is a sharp harvesting knife. The heart of the agave is called the piña (or “pineapple”).
Fact: A piña weighs on average between 20 and 80 kg.
Agaves are cut up by axe at Destilería Sierra and then placed in large stainless-steel tubes (autoclaves) and cooked gently. After 16 to 24 hours, the steamed agaves are taken out of their cooking pots.
Fact: The fructose they contain has now been transformed into sugar. At this stage, the agave tastes similar to boiled pumpkin.
Pressing, fermentation, and distillation
The fruit, which is now soft and mildly fruity, undergoes a step-by-step extraction process. Special yeast is added to the agave juice to ferment it, and by the end of the fermentation process, it is a kind of agave wine with between 8 and 10% alcohol content by volume. This is then traditionally distilled twice in copper vessels.
Fact: The fibers left over after pressing are used for the production of insulating materials and natural materials.
After distilling, blanco tequila is placed into large steel tanks where it matures before being bottled as Sierra Tequila Silver, Sierra Antiguo Tequila Plata, or Sierra Milenario Tequila Blanco. The other types of tequila are stored in oak barrels for different periods of time, which refines their flavor to perfection.
The finished product
There is one thing that all Destilería Sierra tequilas have in common, and that is the traditional care with which they are handled throughout the entire production process. Next you can discover the characteristics of our different tequilas and find out which tequila suits you best.
Fact: Tequila has to contain at least 51% agave juice. The Antiguo and Milenario ranges even contain 100% agave juice.