miércoles, marzo 13



 By :Consejo Regulador del Tequila

Official resolution dated November 22, 1974 issued by the Secretary of Industry and Trade was published on December 9, 1974, at the Federation Official Newspaper granting protection to the Appellation of Origin Tequila and setting forth a territory for the TDO of that beverage. Said resolution was amended on October 13, 1977; November 3, 1999; and June 26, 2000. TDO comprises, to date, 181 municipalities:

All Municipalities of Jalisco (125)

• 8 Municipalities of Nayarit
• 7 Municipalities of Guanajuato
•30 Municipalities of Michoacán
• 11 Municipalities of Tamaulipas

Chronological Notes on History of the Appellation of Origin Tequila:

• There have been references from 1943 on certain steps made by the industrial men of the region to protect the name of "Tequila" and get the buzz of use. Arguments are grounded on a long history associated with the industry and the region (region, village, hill) with this drink that has also earned the nickname of “National Drink”.

• The “Lisbon Agreement” for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration was subscribed by Mexico in 1958.

• In the sixties and beyond, when Tequila was TWD famous in the world, some countries (Japan, Spain) began to produce spirits to whom they called "tequila".

• Chapter X, Title Third, of the Industrial Property Law, regarding Appellation of Origin, was amended in 1972.

The CRIT submitted a petition before the SIC on September 27, 1973 for issuing the General Declaracion for Protection of the Appellation of Origin "Tequila".

• Said petition was favorably resolved on November 22, and it is published by the Official Newspaper on December 9, 1974.

• An Agreement is signed between the United States and Mexico through the one Mexico recognizes Bourbon and restricts its name within its territory. In exchange, the United States recognized Tequila as a distinctive product and exclusive from Mexico.

• A decree is published by the Federal Register (December 5, 1973) through the one the Appellation of Origin is recognized. In México, on May 6, 1974, a resolution amending Article 2.1.1. of the Quality Official Standard for Whisky, DGN-V-I-1969, is published.

• The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Canada issued a decree on July 27, 1974 through the one the name Tequila is restricted to products coming from Mexico.

• On September 20, 1976 Tequilera la Gonzaleña asked for an extension of the territory of the Appellation of Origin to some Municipalities of Tamaulipas.

• The favorable resolution to said petition was published by the Official Newspaper on October 13, 1977.

• The Registry of Tequila at the "Registre International des appelations D'origine” created by the World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva, Switzerland) is gotten on April 13, 1978.

• The Quebec Province (Canada) sent a writing, stating its recognition to DOT on March 29, 1981.

• The D.O.T. was recognized by Denmark on October 29, 1982.


According to the Mexican Standard, Tequila is defined as:

“Regional alcoholic beverage distilled from must, directly and originally prepared from the material extracted in the factory premises of an Authorized Manufacturer which shall be located within the territory specified in the Declaration for the Protection of Appellation of Origin Tequila (also called the Denomination of Origin Tequila – DOT). Tequila is prepared from the heads of the Agave Tequila Weber Blue Variety, previously of subsequently hydrolyzed or cooked, and subjected to alcoholic fermentation with yeast, cultivated or not, and the must be capable of being enhanced and blended together to formulate with other sugars to a ratio not higher than 40% of total reducing sugars expressed in units of mass, as terms set forth by the NOM, being understood that blend mix is not allowed. Tequila is a liquid which, according to its kind, is colorless or colored when mature o when it is softened unripe.”

Tequila’s name was adopted from the region that agave birth about two centuries ago.

Tequila is a distilled spirit produced in a small region of Mexico. It is produced from distillation of fermented mask obtained from the heart or a plant known as “Agave Azul” or blue agave. This heart, similar to a giant pineapple, it is also known as “mezcal”. In nahuatl means “House of the Moon” and is used to signify the marrow, essence, center, etc. Tequila is a product of the meeting of two worlds. It uses a technique originated in the European continent to transform a raw material, which has been cultivated since ancient times and typical of the American land. Over 200 types of agaves can be found in Mexico. And similar alcoholic beverages are produced from those agaves in diverse places. Those are given the generic name of mezcal and take their name from the town in where they are made. That is why we have mezcal of Oaxaca, Cotija, Quitupan, Tonaya, Tuxcacuesco, Apulco, and so on. But undoubtedly, the most famous mezcal is from Tequila, which name comes from an ancient and dynamic town located about 50 kilometers north of Guadalajara, on the way of this city and to other well-known place, the port of San Blas de Nayarit, at the Pacific Coast of Mexico. During colonial times, blue agave thrived in the lands surrounding the county of Tequila. Many large and small factories sprang up to produce the prestigious liquor, known earlier simply as “the wine of Tequila Mezcal”.

Nowadays, for many reasons Tequila is considered the “Mexican by excellence” beverage, and with the mariachis and charros of Jalisco, exemplifies abroad the archetype of the Mexican music and way of living of Mexican people.

In fact, a mariachi musician dressed in the traditional ensemble, traje de charro, would not be considered drinking anything else but Tequila.

It was probably in the middle of the 16th century when some desperate Spaniard began to make mescal in the area of Tequila. Blue agave grew abundantly in the county and had tremendous value in the course of daily life. The leaves of the plant were used to build roofs; make needles, punches, pins and nails; wind strong rope; manufacture paper and even a certain type of container. Besides using the dried fleshy leaves as fuel, their ashes were used as soap, bleach or detergent and their sap was used to heal wounds. 

In fact, the least used part of the plant was the heart. It is likely that the Spaniards noticed that the native peoples chewed the heart as a sweet and thus recognized the heart’s high sugar content. Thirsty for a libation, they may then have thought to distill it. But this discovery was no exactly cheered by the authorities.

Due in greater part to instructions to promote the import of Spanish wines and liquors than to a marked desire to be abstemious, the colonial government prohibited the making of local products which might compete with Spanish alcoholic beverages. Tequila therefore had to be made in secret in the beginning. Due to the volume of Tequila production reached and the government’s urgent need for funds, Tequila production was legalized in the 17th century on the payment of a corresponding tax.

Thanks to Tequila, the Treasury could undertake the first important works towards the introduction of drinking water to the city of Guadalajara and, years later, could start construction of the palace which is still used by the Jalisco government up to date.

As Tequila production originated along the road to San Blas, this town became an important port at the middle of the 18th century since the new Spanish colonies in northwest Mexico were supplied from there and the “mescal wine of this land” became the first export product produced from what is today the State of Jalisco.

The mezcal of Tequila helped the Spaniards to endure the loneliness of those northern lands. The Jesuits and Franciscans, who in succession colonized the Indian population for the purpose of imparting Christianity, often felt happier and abided with greater resignation and patience the hoped for arrival of eternal peace and their subjection to a manner of living so different from that they were accustomed.

In the same way, Tequila serviced the dusty throats of those who worked in the not too distant but still remote mines of Bolanos, which were so prosperous at the end of the 18th century.

With Mexican independence in 1821, Spanish liquors started to face with greater difficulties reaching Mexico. This was the opening for Tequila producers to increase their sales in Guadalajara and to start marketing Tequila in Mexico City and the entire centre of the country.

During the first half of the 19th century some mills had acquired a certain importance and the producers were starting to exert notable political influence.

At this time, thanks to the easy access to the port of San Blas, it was again possible for Tequila sales to increase, this time due to gold-seekers and miners. In 1849 gold was found in current day California without considering that, just one year earlier, the land had been wrenched from Mexico by the Yankees.

As Mexico endured its civil war in 1857, the war which would end the old social order inherited under Spanish domination, Tequila producers already knew what their industry needed. They continued to support the liberal cause until it triumphed in 1867. It was a distinguished Tequila producer who then assumed the governorship of the State of Jalisco following the defeat of the French whom Napoleon III had sent in support of the conservatives.

Tequila’s main enemy at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century was the railroad in the USA which easily transported European liquors from coast to coast. This problem was exacerbated by Mexican high society which retained a preference for French products.

Only among the masses did one find regular consumers of the traditional distilled drink but, even so, Tequila consumption grew considerably.

It was the Mexican Revolution that foretold a new attitude that resounded in favor of Tequila.

With the overthrow in 1911 of the lengthy dictatorship headed by General Porfirio Diaz, the conflict became a thing of the past and the whole country looked for ways to strengthen the sense of Mexican nationhood.

Drinking Tequila instead of imported distilled liquors was one of these gestures. What’s more, even the government consciously favored the image of Tequila, almost as a national symbol.

As well, in the 30s and 40s, the successful Mexican film industry contributed beyond measure to Tequila’s popularity by creating a misleading stereotype of what it meant to be Mexican.

In addition to movies, many songs then in vogue had much to do with the growing fame of the drink. It also helped that a popular saying named Tequila as the best medicine against an epidemic of Spanish influenza which scourged northern Mexico in 1930. In order to meet the demand, Tequila was provided in small bottles fabricated in the industrial city of Monterrey, rather than being distributed in bulk in cumbersome barrels.

Likewise, the oil boom that arose at that time off the Gulf Coast of Mexico boosted the consumption of Tequila thanks to handy half-litre bottles which were easy to handle and transport - even in the back pocket of the loose-fitting trousers which were the style then and so commonly seen on cinema screens.

In 1940 the Tequila industry was ready to supplant whisky which had ceased to reach the USA due to WWII. Tequila exports reached unexpected levels.

The drop in sales was similarly steep when the armistice unexpectedly arrived and the industry had to make a concerted effort to increase its domestic market and look for sales in Europe and South America.

From 1950 the Tequila production chain initiated considerable technical improvements. Many factories, without detriment to quality, attained high yields and levels of hygiene. Some brands proved more accessible to the common palate due to their lower alcohol content.

It was found that the optimal region to grow blue agave could be expanded, without harm to the product, which allowed the increasing demand to be duly satisfied.

It is regrettable that Tequila is being falsified in many countries without any apparent concern on the part of these foreign governments, and in spite of the spirit of international accords and agreements, notably the Lisbon Agreement, which state that Tequila can only be produced legitimately in a specific region of Mexico.

Today the blue agave fields, with their so characteristic appearance, occupy a great central strip of Jalisco’s landscape. The industry, directly or indirectly, involves some 300,000 people, all of them proud to participate in the making of a product so deeply ingrained in the life of Western Mexico, and pleased to offer this absolutely Mexican drink to the rest of the world. 


1. Tequila elaboration begins with the agave growing as set forth in the Appellation of Origin Tequila or DOT. First task is to select the hijuelos*, baby agave offshoots that grow from the base of mature Agave Tequilana Weber, blue variety, which are replanted at the DOT area only. This is the area protected by the Declaration for the Protection of Appellation of Origin Tequila. Those 19 inches approximate height offshoots shall be free from diseases. 

2. It may take ten years approximately for the plant to reach its peak ripeness. After this term the plant is capable of providing the best honeys and is ready for the jima. 

3. The “Jima” consists in cutting off the leaves of the plant down to its base, to keep only the head or heart of agave.

Production process begins with agave heads baking and mashing. 


Baking is done by water steam pressure, either in traditional masonry ovens or autoclaves. Baking time in masonry furnace is 48 hours while 12 hours in autoclave. The purpose of this stage is to convert inulin (agave sugar) into sugars such as fructose and sucrose, which are readily fermentable.

At the end of cooking, the baked agave is transported to mills where it is cut into a few inches pieces.

5. Extraction of honeys and pulp after the agave heads were shredded. Water pressure is applied on baked agave heads after these were mashed to extract the sweetness and then squeeze in conveyor belts. The honeys are then separated to continue the manufacturing process, while the pulp is discarded.

The honeys extracted from baked agave heads are captured in tanks. They are then transported by pipeline to the tubs of formulation for Tequila production or for 100% agave Tequila fermentation, as the case may be.

6. Formulation consists of mixing the 51% agave sweetness minimum, with a preparation of no more than 49% percent of other honeys, (standard sugar, brown sugar, glucose, fructose, molasses, etc.) and then these are fermented.

7. Fermentation is one of the most important stages of the process. In this stage the sugars are transformed into ethyl alcohol and others in smaller proportions. Fermentation is performed in big stainless steel containers and honeys, also known as must, are added. Then water, yeasts and nutrients for fermentation are added.

Fermentation time varies depending on environmental temperature and this, in turn, changes with each season. Under low winter temperatures, fermentation can be prolonged more than 24 hours. This process has a pattern similar to any organism development curve, representing firstly an exponential growth, then a second lineal phase and a late-stage decrease. Any product fermentation implies alcohol, carbon dioxide, water and energy released as heat. Must in plain fermentation is effervescent and motion ceases when yeast cells finish work. At that time the process ends and it is customary to say that must is dead; yeast has completed the sugar conversion into alcohol.

8. During distillation process, heat and pressure is applied, separating the enzymes in alcohol content products (Tequila) and vinasse; being the latter a waste product. Process is carried out in copper or stainless steel stills, and even in continuous distillation towers. Common stills consist of three parts: the pot or boiler, where must is deposited for heating; the column or capital, which collects and conducts the steams, and the coil, where the steams are cooled becoming liquid.

Boiling points of the different compounds and the diverse volumes and pressures of the still assist in the gases separation, and these are condensed into higher alcoholic content products. Two distillation processes are needed to produce Tequila: the first is called crushing and the second rectification.

Alcoholic content increases with rectification and undesirable products are eliminated, getting a high purity product. Tequila gotten from crushing or first distillation is called “Tequila ordinario” (standard Tequila). Tequila earned from second distillation or rectification is considered as “Tequila blanco” (white Tequila). In addition to vinasses, there are other sub products that can be gotten from distillation beginning and ending, known as “cabezas”(heads) and “colas” (tails), respectively. The last parts of the distillate to come through the still, usually recycled into a subsequent distillation

Generally, Tequila gotten from distillation can be used:

To be diluted and bottled as White Tequila/Silver;

For Tequila sale in bulk (applicable on the “Tequila” category, only);

After settling Tequila for a few weeks in the tanks before bottling, it can be bottled as a Young Tequila or Golden;

Matured and bottled as Aged Tequila;

Matured and bottled as Extra Aged Tequila; and

Matured and bottled as Ultra Aged Tequila.

The Tequila bottler must demonstrate, at all times, that the product has not been altered since it was delivered in bulk until final bottling thereof.

Tequila should be bottled in medical type new containers, safe and made with materials resistant to the different stages of the process, so they do not react with the product or alter its physical, chemical and sensory features.

Each container capacity cannot exceed 1,320 gallons (5 liters) and in no case can use containers with brands that are not owned by the producer or packer approved under terms of this NOM draft.


Branding and labeling

Each Tequila bottle shall show a legible label, containing the following information in Spanish language. Information must be truthful and not mislead consumers about the nature and characteristics of Tequila. It shall include:

a) The word “Tequila”;

b) Category and Class;

c) The flavor or aroma added, in its case;

d) Net content in liters or millimeters, as per NOM-03O-SCFI-1993

e) Alcoholic content expressed in alcohol percent in 20ºC volume, that should be abbreviated “% Alc. Vol.”;

f) Name or trade name of the Authorized Producer or the factory in where Tequila is produced and, if this would be the case, the approved bottler name;

g) Address of the Authorized Producer or the factory in where Tequila is produced and, if this would be the case, the approved bottler address;

h) The registered brand name, followed by the symbols ® o “MR”;


j) An official code, in accordance with NOM-106-SCFI-2000;

k) Lot: lot identification must be engraved or marked on each bottle, with a code indication. Lot identification annotated by the Authorized Producer or the approved bottler must not be altered neither hidden in any way;

l) Precautionary legends as set forth by health law; and

m) Any other information as required by other legal provisions applicable to alcoholic beverages.


As per sugars percent coming from Agave used to prepare Tequila, this can be classified within one of the following categories:

“100% agave”.

It is the product, which in fermentation is not susceptible to be enriched with other sugars different than those obtained from Blue Tequilana Weber blue varietygrown within the territory indicated in the Declaration. For this product to be considered “Tequila 100% agave” must be bottled in the packing facilities controlled by an Authorized Producer. Packing facilities shall be located within the territory indicated in the Declaration.

This product must be denominated through some of the following legends only: “100% de agave”, “100% puro de agave”, “100% agave”, “100% puro agave”.

It is the product in which must is susceptible to be enriched and mixed jointly prior to fermentation with other sugars until a proportion not higher than 49% of total reducing sugars expressed in mass units. This maximum enrichment up to 49% of total reducing sugars expressed in mass units cannot be performed with sugars coming from any other agave variety. 51% of total reducer sugars can be increased with sugars extracted from the Agave tequilana Weber variedad azul grown within the territory defined in the Declaration only.

This product must be bottled in packing facilities located within the territory defined in the Declaration and can only be bottled out of this territory when provisions set forth by NOM are met.


Based on the characteristics acquired in processes subsequent to distillation, Tequila is classified as


Young or Gold.


Extra Aged.

Ultra Aged.

Silver / White Tequila.- Commercial alcoholic content must be, in its case, adjusted with dilution water.

Young or Gold Tequila.- Susceptible to be aged. Its commercial alcoholic content should be, in its case, adjusted with dilution water. Blending white Tequila with aged and/or extra aged and /or ultra/ aged tequilas, it is considered as young Tequila or gold Tequila.

Process to soften Tequila flavor is called “Abocado”, adding one or more of the following ingredients: caramel color, oak natural extract, and glycerin and sugar syrup.

Aged Tequila.- Product susceptible to be softened subjected to an aging process of two months at least within oak or white oak barrels or casks. Its commercial alcoholic content must be, in its case, adjusted with dilution water.

Tequila aging is understood as the product slow processing that allowing acquiring additional sensory characteristics, gotten by physicochemical processes that naturally occur during their stay in French oak or white oak barrels.

Rested Tequila must be aged in French oak or white oak barrels for at least two months.

Blending rested Tequila with extra aged or ultra aged Tequila, it is considered Aged Tequila.

Extra Aged Tequila.- Product susceptible to be softener subjected to an aging process of one year at least in 600 liters capacity French oaks or White oaks barrel. Its commercial alcoholic content must be, in its case, adjusted with dilution water.
Mixing aged Tequila with ultra aged Tequila is considered Extra Aged Tequila.

Extra aged Tequila may be rested in French oak or White oak barrels for one year at least. The barrels cannot be more than 600 liters.

Blending extra aged with ultra aged Tequila is considered as Extra Aged Tequila.

Ultra Aged Tequila 
Product susceptible to be softened, subjected to an aging process of no more than three years. Aging time is not specified in label. Matured in direct contact with French oak or White oak casks of no more than 600 liters capacity. Its commercial alcoholic content must be, in its case, adjusted with dilution water.

Classification mentioned in paragraph above can be substituted for the International market, and translated into corresponding language or by the following:

• "Silver" instead of Blanco
• "Gold" instead of Joven or Oro
• "Aged" instead of Reposado
• "Extra aged" instead of Añejo.
• "Ultra aged" instead of Extra Añejo.

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