The process starts with selecting quality agave tequilana (commonly referred to as Blue agave) that has reached its maturity, which takes between 6 and 14 years. We require that the raw sugar content of the freshly cut agave contain at least 21 degrees, Brix. We prefer and seek agave with 23 – 28 Brix sugar content. Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution. Also, and quite importantly, we require our agave piñas to be trimmed very close to the heart, leaving almost a white appearance with very little green leafy exposure. This helps eliminate the oily/waxy taste and texture and lends to a cleaner fermentation/distillation process and final flavor.
Next, the agave/piña ‘hearts’ are slowly steam-roasted in centuries-old traditional thick stone walled brick ovens (hornos) for 36 – 54 hours. This traditional art of ‘slow cooking’ in brick ovens prevents the cooked agave from caramelizing while softening the fibers and transforming the carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. These ovens also help retain the sweet natural mellow flavors of the carefully grown agave.
The sugar is extracted from the cooked agave via a shredding machine, known as a ‘Molino or mill. As the agave fibers pass through the milling heads, the agave is squeezed, releasing the sugar-concentrated sweet juice. All the while, the fibers/juice are being washed with de-ionized/reverse osmosis treated water.
Many mass-produced tequilas are fermented for only 10 – 12 hours. However, our fermentation process, on average, requires 48- 60 hours of fermentation. The slower fermentation process results in a more full-bodied tequila flavor. We distill the fermented beer twice using alembic stills commonly known as ‘pot stills.’ A slow distillation process is utilized (approximately 5 hours per 5000-liter pot). The first distillation separates and concentrates alcohol from the fermented beer. The resulting alcohol content is approximately 25% alc/vol. The first distillation creates what is known as ‘ordinary’ tequila. The second distillation enriches the alcohol content to approximately 40% alc/vol, which is the final product.
The Reposado is then aged for 8 months in White Oak Bourbon Barrels. This gives the normally clear tequila its amber color and depth of flavor.