As migrants living in Silicon Valley, CA in 1999, the Edgar González-Ramírez and his cousin Elisandro González Molina were inspired and influenced by the entrepreneurialism that surrounded them. Concerned by the increasing rate in which people were leaving their home town/region of Cajonos-Villa Alta, in the Sierra Juárez mountains, they decided to start Tosba, in an attempt to rescue the disappearing local mezcal production, in turn bringing economic opportunity to the area. Mezcal Tosba employs traditional methods of production, but the cousins are also paying extra close attention to sustainability, understanding that agave by its very definition is unsustainable. At Tosba, the team has been harvesting the flowers and hijuelos of wild varieties like the prized Tobala and Tepextate. These babies are carefully cared for in Tosba’s greenhouse nursery, before replanting into their fields. Thus far, these now semi-wild/semi-cultivated (depending on how you want to look at it) agave, are growing healthily, and have been for the past five+ years. None are ready for harvest as of yet, but they are certainly on their way.
Attention to sustainability doesn’t end there. During the rainy season, the Rio Cajonos, situated below the palenque floods and intensifies in strength, taking down countless trees in its turbulence. 90% of the wood used for Tosba’s production is collected/retrieved from the river, before being cured and used in the roast. Tosba is even beginning to source alternative fuels like biomass (local peat), to fire their stills (not the ovens, which will continue to use aforementioned wood as needed for traditional roasting), yet again, attempting to leave as little a footprint as possible.
The lands of Tosba are rich in biodiversity. The agaves used for Mezcal Tosba’s production grow among coffee, mango, wild fruit trees and sugar cane, contributing to the surrounding area and subsequent natural balance and health of the terroir. The water is pure and clear and comes from natural springs flowing from the mountains.
Mezcal Tosba is certified by COMERCAM, the Mexican Council for the regulation of quality Mezcal. NOM-070-SCFI-1994
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