CHICAGO, IL (Dec. 13, 2018) – In close partnership with Casa San Matias and a group of mezcaleros in Oaxaca, Sazerac is launching a new family of mezcals called Los Vecinos del Campo.
These hand-crafted spirits are produced by 10 families in the Valles Centrales of Oaxaca who have been utilizing traditional methods to create rich agave spirits for generations. The name Los Vecinos del Campo is a nod to those families and their communities, as it translates to “Neighbors of the Field.”
Carmen Villarreal, CEO and owner of Casa San Matias, has had a strong connection to Oaxaca since her college years when she was moved by the kindness of the people there while working on community-focused social work projects. “While in Oaxaca, I learned the importance of supporting communities,” said Villarreal. “By offering well-paid jobs, promoting their values and sharing profits of their work back into the community to support health, education and wellness, we can help communities for generations. We are excited that our friends at Sazerac share our enthusiasm for representing Mexican culture and tradition and rewarding the families and communities that make Los Vecinos Mezcal.”
Megan Hurtuk, marketing director for Los Vecinos, said, “Over the past several years, we have fallen in love with mezcal and the people who bring it to life in Mexico. We are thrilled to partner with Carmen and do our part to strengthen the long-term sustainability of the category and support the people in Oaxaca who put their hearts and souls into these beautiful spirits.”
Los Vecinos del Campo Mezcals hail from the Valles Centrales of Oaxaca and are produced by a group of 10 master mezcaleros who use time-honored processes passed down by their ancestors to distill the small batches of mezcal.
The mezcaleros use locally grown and hand-harvested agave and slow-roast the agave hearts, or piñas, underground to create the sultry, smoky-sweet artisanal mezcals. The piñas are crushed using a stone molino, then naturally fermented in wooden vats, and, finally, double distilled using copper pot stills.
Los Vecinos del Campo is releasing its “Espadin” expression in several markets, while two other expressions, “Tobala” and “Ensamble No. 1,” will be released in 2019.
At 90 proof, Los Vecinos Espadin stands up well in cocktails, and also can be savored neat. To the taste, Espadin is all spice up front, moving quickly to roasted tropical fruits, tender young ginger and green bell peppers.
Los Vecinos Espadin has already received high accolades from expert panels including Finalist and Great Value awards at the 2018 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, receiving a score of 94/100 “Excellent, Highly Recommended.” The new mezcal was also rated as 5/5 Stars- Highest Recommendation from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, June 2018, stating “This wonderful mezcal is the ideal marriage of unruly, wild mezcal and distilling sophistication.”
About Casa San Matías
With more than 130 years of experience, Casa San Matías is one of the oldest tequila distilleries in Mexico, and as a Mexican family owned distillery, is one of the few producers that still use traditional methods to produce its tequila. Casa San Matías was the first in the tequila industry to participate in the carbon footprint program promoted by the United Nations to combat global warming, and is one of only four tequila companies using a biodigester in order to operate environmentally friendly. As the first tequila company to be certified as a “Great Place to Work” and recognized as part of “Top Companies” in Mexico, Casa San Matias is also certified for its gender equality. The distillery is known for brands like Pueblo Viejo, which is one of the top leading brands in Mexico, as well as other noted brands such as Corazón Tequila, Rey Sol, Orgullo and San Matías.
Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada.