Charanda is a sugarcane distillate that can only be made in 16 municipalities in Michoacán. The raw material (sugarcane molasses, or piloncillo) may only come from within the D.O. (Denomination of Origin) and this speaks to the very specific volcanic red soil—called charanda in the native language of Purepecha—that can be found here. The soil, which is extremely high in minerality and iron, creates the perfect cane-growing conditions when combined with the warm days and cool nights in Michoacán.
For over a century, the Pacheco family has been making some of the finest Charanda in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico. The brand is actually named for the city of Uruapan, due to the Pacheco’s longstanding history in the community. In 1907, Don Cleofas Murgia Pacheco transitioned from distilling mezcal to the more immediately profitable model of distilling sugarcane. Miriam Pacheco carries on the tradition of making Charanda Uruapan and runs the family business today. The family’s desire to protect and preserve the region’s tradition of cane distillation is best exemplified by the efforts of Fernando Pecheco (Miriam’s brother) to create the D.O. protecting Charanda, in 2013.