Part 3 // A Gift from Mexico to the World
Lunazul is owned and operated by the Beckmann family, who for 7 generations, have been creating small batch tequila with the same methods they used from day one, over 250 years ago (pretty incredible, right?!). Enter Master Distiller Francisco Quijano who joined their team in 2007 and whose task, in the simplest form, is to turn three basic ingredients- agave, water and yeast – into Lunazul tequila or as Francisco would put it, “a gift from Mexico to the world.” We spent three days with Francisco, his team and his family.
After each day spent out in the fields and/or the distillery, we would return to town and join Francisco, his wife and two daughters for dinner. It felt like we were visiting a favorite aunt and uncle who lived out of state. The warmth and energy around the table was something I hadn’t expected going in to this – they treated us like part of the family. And I speak for our whole team when I say, we just felt so lucky to be there, sharing a meal with these wonderful humans.
As our last dinner together came to an end, it became clear that these people and their heritage play an integral role in what makes Lunazul tequila so special. Francisco is a true artist, a master of his craft and his excitement around sharing the process of tequila making is contagious. We are forever grateful for the knowledge and experiences our team shared in Guadalajara and the Jalisco region. We thought it would be fun to break down our learnings and share some cool tequila 101 with you. Take a look below!
Lunazul and the Mexican Wolf
Lunazul translates to “Blue Moon”. The Mexican wolf has always played a vital role in Lunazul’s identity. Mysterious and resourceful, the independent spirit of the wolf resonates in everything they do.
1. Growing + HarvestingEach blue agave plant will mature in 7-9 years. Once ripe, jimadores (agave harvesters) cut the leaves to reveal the piña, the heart of the plant.
2. Slow Cooking
The piñas make the journey to the distillery, where a Master Distiller oversees the slow cooking process, one batch per day, to produce the sugars that create the rich, clean flavors and aroma of Lunazul Tequila.
3. Shredding + Milling
Once cooked, the agave is shredded and rinsed, leaving only the pure agave sugar which is then prepped for fermenting.
The agave sugars are combined with one-of-a-kind yeast, a family strain used for generations that comes directly from the agave plants and soil on their estate. The yeast consumes the sugars, converting the agave syrup into a young tequila.
Each batch is distilled twice in custom cognac stills, where the Master Distiller crafts each batch to create a smooth and pure flavor.
6. Bourbon Barrel Aging
The tequilas are then aged in Bourbon barrels to add a rich depth of flavor.
7. Hand Bottling
This last step adds a final handmade touch to their process; a care you can taste in every sip.
Types of Agave Tequila
unaged, crystal clear
aroma: hints of hot, pepper and smooth mint eucalyptus
taste: mint freshness with ripe fruit tones
finish: refreshing, citrus, crisp finish
‘rested’ in Bourbon barrels for 6 months, pale amber
aroma: delicate and fruity hints of vanilla
taste: classic, earthy agave
finish: smoky and spicy
aged in Bourbon barrels 12-18 months, medium amber
aroma: smoky white oak with subtle notes of fruits spice and vanilla
taste: subtle toasted oak sweetness with a peppery note
finish: long lasting warm finish with spice
aged for 18 months in American white oak barrels, then carefully filtered 8 times, crisp clear
aroma: complex balance of sweet vanilla and fruits with hints of oak and floral
taste: full body and mouth with oak, spices, citrus and sweet caramel with hints of eucalyptus
finish: long lasting warm finish and persistent, soft alcohol notes
Map of Mexico, market at Tierra de Agaves.
Location – Tequila, Jalisco
4,000 acres of land
4 Million blue agave plants
200 year old mother plants used to replant for new agave growth
Featured in our seasonal Meyer Lemon Margarita
lunazul tequila, yuzu, lime, housemade sweet + sour, triple sec, cilantro
To learn more about Francisco, his team, and Lunazul Tequila.
Infographic by Archel Arindaeng
Words + Photography by Rebecca Simms
Questions? Comments? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org