- Hipocrates Nolasco
Support the new Mezcal NORM
The long anticipated NOM 70 update is now public and open to comment so you finally get your say about what goes into your glass. For those who don’t know: NOM 70 defines mezcal, everything from which agaves are used to which states can make mezcal to the production methods and much more.
We’re asking you to sign this petition and support the proposed law because it’s extremely important that you contribute your voice to the process. We here at Mezcalistas support NOM 70 exactly because it achieves most of our goals when it comes to protecting traditional mezcal producers.
The two main issues that it resolves are transparency and definition: It makes what goes into your bottle clear so that you’ll always know mezcal is 100% agave and which agave. It also tells you very clearly who made that mezcal and how. Some people won’t be happy with this because it does create an industrial category but we all knew that was going to happen: It is a necessary part of the business. If you're in that category know that industrial mezcal will be clearly labeled. Plus, if you love handmade mezcal, you get your own special labels.
This NOM is the culmination of a long and arduous process that synthesizes more than two years of thought, debate, and public meetings. The very fact that we have this proposal, that it is open for public discussion, and that the drafting process was public represents an enormous maturity of the mezcal world. Whereas just a few years ago mezcal was under threat by large industrial interests, this NOM does a better job of defining mezcal than most people ever hoped; better even than many European spirits.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty, this proposal says the following:
- Mezcal is clearly defined as being 100% agave, with all input materials grown, produced and bottled within the DO.
- It can range between 36-55% alcohol.
- All bottles will be labeled as one of three types of mezcal:
1) Mezcal: Industrial mezcals
2) Mezcal Artesanal: Hand made but with some mechanization.
3) Mezcal Ancestral: Completely hand made with purely traditional processes.
Each category has very clear definitions of each processing step including harvest, cooking, crushing, fermentation, and distillation. Additionally, classes are now defined - blanco, madurado en vidrio, reposado, añejo, abocado con and destilado con. There is more information with the specifics of what is required on labels, etc-- the entire document can be found here.
It is vitally important that we support these changes and spread the word. The more voices in support, the better. As Hipocrates Nolasco, who leads the CRM (the governing body of mezcal) told the recent Future of Mezcal panel in San Francisco, the voices of consumers and bartenders in North America are vital to the process. Like it or not, we are the major consumers of mezcal so we have a major say in the process. Don’t be silent, speak up!
And if you have additional comments (for or against) please share those on our website at www.mezcalistas.com or our FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/Mezcalistas-114725788657288/. We'll be compiling all of them and sending them along to the CRM with this petition.
Thank you for joining us in supporting the new NOM 70 and for signing this petition!
Max and Susan aka The Mezcalistas