Blending Heritage and Modernity, Volcán De Mi Tierra Ushers in A New Era of Tequila

Volcán De Mi Tierra exquisitely blends modern technology with tried and true traditional tequila-making methods

Sep. 2021Written by Megan SaunsenPhotos provided by Moët Hennessy

Agave fields in the foreground, Tequila Volcano in the background while the sun is setting
Front gate to Volcan Tequila distillery in Jalisco region of Mexico
jimadors harvesting agave piñas on a hillside field with the Tequila Volcano in the background
The team at Volcán handling the agave to be tossed into the horno, or kiln, to cook.
A side-by-side of the two ways Volcán processes their agave, by a horno, a brick stone oven and an autoclave, a pressure cooker
A tahona, a volcanic stone wheel, and a molino, essentially a shredding machine, process the cooked agave.
Liquid fermenting in oak and stainless-steel tanks in the Volcán distillery
Copper pot and stainless-steel stills are used to distill Volcán tequila
A bottle of Volcán De Mi Tierra Blanco lying on top of volcano ash
A bottle of Volcán De Mi Tierra Cristalino tequila

Around 200,000 years ago, the Tequila Volcano erupted, ultimately forging the beautiful terrain where the distillery lies today. Volcán De Mi Tierra translates to “Land of My Volcano,” a tribute to the land from which they so graciously take.

The Tequila Regulatory Council (TRC) was formed in 1994 and set rules on where and how tequila is produced. Tequila must be produced in one of five designated regions, Jalisco being one of them and the state with the most distilleries. That’s also where Volcán is produced.

The fact that Volcán Tequila has its own distillery is noteworthy alone. There are under 200 distilleries making over 900 brands of tequila in Mexico. Distilleries that follow the regulations set forth by the TRC receive a Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) that verifies the bottle is authentic tequila produced in Mexico and which producer is comes from. Volcán Tequila’s NOM is 1523.

Becoming a jimador, a farmer who harvests agave plants, is a tradition that has been passed on throughout many generations and requires special skills and tools. An extremely necessary skill: patience. According to Volcán Tequila, an agave takes 3,250 days (a little over eight years) to ripen. It then gets manually harvested by jimadors when the sugar content is at its highest. They also only grow and harvest blue Weber agave.

Volcán works with six families in Jalisco to ensure the agave supply is superior. They combine agave harvested from two very different terroirs: the lowlands, which hold spicy, peppery and bold herby flavors, and the highlands, which lend a more floral, mineral aroma and taste.

Volcán wants to honor the past as much as it wants to incorporate modern technology So, when they approach two different agaves from two different growing environments, they employ two different methods.

They use the horno (a kiln) to slowly cook the lowlands agave. It’s more time consuming—it takes 36 hours—but it caramelizes the sugars to perfection. For the highland’s agaves, they use the autoclave (a pressure cooker) to speed up the steaming process—which clocks in at nine hours—and can cook more agaves in one session.

cooked in their respective ovens, it’s time to extract the sugars. Using a traditional tahona, a prehispanic stone wheel made of volcanic rock, the wheel crushes part of the lowlands’ agave. Only a handful of distilleries are still using tahonas in their production process.

The highlands agaves are more delicate, and it takes a modern machine to handle such precious material. That gets pressed in a molino, a multi-stage shredding machine.

During the fermentation stage, the lowland agaves are placed in the traditional open oak tank and are fermented with natural yeast. The more delicate highland agaves get the modern treatment of being placed in closed stainless steel tanks that are temperature controlled to maintain quality and consistency.

By law, tequila must be distilled twice. Volcán distills their lowlands’ agave mash in the traditional copper pot still and the highland agave mash goes into the modern stainless steel still.

Volcán De Mi Tierra is “built on an assemblage” and that’s true from their blending to their technology. The tequila is bottled at their distillery in Jalisco and is corked and labeled by hand.

Volcán De Mi Tierra Blanco tequila is a blend of 70% lowland agaves and 30% highland agaves. After the distillation and blending process, the tequila rests in stainless steel tanks for 30 days so the liquids have all gotten to know each other and blend beautifully.

Volcán De Mi Tierra Cristalino is a blend of añejo (aged one year) and extra-añejo tequila (aged three years) with the color extracted via a charcoal filtration system. The liquid is transferred to American and French oak casks to rest for 15 days.

When a luxury Champagne, wine, and spirits powerhouse like Moët Hennessy gets into the tequila world, they certainly don’t start small. Their portfolio is home to iconic brands Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Belvedere Vodka, as well as newcomers like Woodinville Whiskey, and now, their tequila story starts at the base of the Tequila Volcano in Jalisco, Mexico—the birthplace of the spirit.

Volcán De Mi Tierra is a partnership between Moët Hennessy and the Gallardo family that began in 2017. The namesake translates to “Land of My Volcano,” a tribute of sorts, as most everything has been shaped by the actual Tequila Volcano in some way or another. The volcano erupted over 200,000 years ago, covering the area with rich volcanic soil that is prime for growing Blue Weber agave, which is the only agave Volcán uses to produce their tequilas. Their distillery also boldly sits at the base of the Tequila Volcano in Jalisco, Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s an inactive volcano.

Volcán exquisitely blends modern technology with tried and true traditional tequila-making methods. The expressions are also blends of two vastly different terroirs. The lowlands produce agave that are earthy and herbaceous, with a bit of spice. Those plants are cooked in a traditional oven, which steams the plants over the course of 36 hours. Agaves grown in the highlands are fruit-forward, elegant and more delicate than its counterpart, so they are cooked using indirect heat with a more modern autoclave pressure cooker.

Get up close and personal with Volcán De Mi Tierra’s terroirs, Blue Weber agaves, and their production process and you can quickly see the heritage and heart that is poured into this award-winning luxury tequila.

More Stories Like This

Cincoro Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo


Going for the Gold: Cincoro Tequila

The sun rises over the Cloudy Bay Barracks Vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand


Curators of Natural Luxury: Cloudy Bay