Don Mateo de la Sierra
Featuring exceptional mezcales from the under-represented state of Michoacán, Don Mateo is widely seen as a benchmark of the region’s style. Owned and operated by sixth-generation maestro mezcalero Emilio Vieyra, alongside his parents—widely admired mezcaleros in their own rights—Don Mateo is named for Emilio’s great-grandfather, who migrated to the area and founded the vinata (distillery) in 1840. Emilio himself was the leading activist responsible for achieving Michoacán’s addition to the Mezcal D.O. and was the first mezcalero to be certified within the state. Working with both cultivated and wild-harvested agave, the Vieyra family primarily uses Agave cupreata and Agave inaequidens, but is also known to feature other more regionally unusual species, such as A. americana var. sahuayensis. Distilled using hybrid Filipino-style stills made from copper, and pine and fir trees (the largest of their kind in the state) these spirits are a brilliant and complex introduction to the unique traditions of mezcal in Michoacán.