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2 weeks ago

Why Blue Weber Agave is a Really Exceptional Agave


Jesús Hernández is the Maestro Tequilero of Altos tequila, Agave tequilana, tequila agave, agave azul, tequila plant, tequila made from agave,
Jesús Hernández, Maestro Tequilero of Altos tequila

In celebration of International Tequila Day on July 24, we asked Jesús Hernández, Maestro Tequilero of Altos Tequila, to share his expertise in cultivating the ideal mexican agave plant for producing the best tequila agave.


What is blue Weber Agave

6 Terroir Conditions Required for Blue Weber Agave

Weather

Healthy and vigorous agave tequilana needs sun, as it thrives in warm temperatures. Any temperature above 5 degrees Celsius works well.

  At Los Altos de Jalisco we have a special peculiarity: a difference in temperatures between day and night. These characteristics provides to our agave a greater amount of sugars and more concentration of aromas.

Agave plants growing at Altos de Jalisco, blue agave plant, blue agave tequila, México, tequila flower, agave and tequila,
Blue agave plants growing at Altos de Jalisco.

Watch out for frost!

Tequila plant can’t be exposed to low temperatures in Mexico. Ideally not bellow 5 degrees Celsius.

A good rainy season

A good agave tequilana plant needs the right amount of rain, which typically occurs during the months of May to July in Arandas.
 

Soil

The ground should be loose and soft to allow the horizontal root system to grow more easily. The red soil of Los Altos de Jalisco is rich in minerals which provides also the agave with enough sugars and nutrients.

Footprint at red soil in Arandas, blue agave cactus, blue agave alcohol, agave azul plant, mexican agave plant,
The unconsolidated mineral or organic matter on the surface of the Earth that has been subjected to and shows effects of genetic and environmental factors.

Incline

The tequila plant should be grown on a slight incline to prevent waterlogging and soil erosion.

Proper pH

The soil pH should be close to seven, in other words, neutral.

Tequila Made from Agave: What is pH and why is seven the magic number

  • The pH scale is used to measure acidity or alkalinity of soil and other substances. 

  • Seven is the midpoint, or neutral, and is the pH of pure water. A pH less than seven indicates acidity. A pH greater than seven indicates alkalinity.

  • The lower the number, the greater the acidity; the higher the number (from 7 up to 14), the greater the alkalinity.

  • When the pH of the soil is not neutral, the tequila plant is unable to absorb nutrients from the soil, which inhibits plant growth. 
Tequilana weber path at Arandas, Jalisco,
Tequilana weber blue path at Arandas, Jalisco. agave plant tequila, agave tequilero, blue agave tequila plant.

History of Agave Azul

The history of the plant or agave tequilana dates back to Spaniards responsible for create the first agave distillate in the 16th century, creating a beverage from the fermented juice that Mexican natives drank. The town of Tequila was the habitat for the blue agave plant, so locals used these plants to distill.

Blue Weber does differentiate itself from the pack with a particularly sweet flavor. Other agave varieties have more herbal notes, but cooked blue agave juice has a unique sweet flavor.

The origin of the name blue Weber (Agave azul) 

Franz Weber, a German naturalist was the first to classified agave species around 1900. Also gave his name to the species.

Plant characteristics

The plant's thorns and the edges of the leaves are quite sharp, Agave tequilana, tequila agave, agave azul, tequila plant, tequila made from agave,
The plant's thorns and the edges of the leaves are quite sharp.
  • Agave azul was naturally abundant in the Jalisco area when it was classified. 

  • The root structure is horizontal; the leaves are narrow, straight, and lance-shaped, with a teal blue color and a waxy substance that reduces water loss during the hot periods of the day.

  • Because of its metabolism, a ripe agave tequilana can yield up to 26% total reducing sugars when its starch tissues are hydrolyzed (by cooking). Other agave varieties, such as agustafolia and salmiana, can only yield between 15 to 17% total reducing sugars. 

“If a blue Weber agave has a good sugar level, this will be reflected in the sweet and fruity notes of the tequila agave that is produced. Similarly, the herbal notes will be reduced.”

Jesús hernández, Maestro Tequilero of Altos Tequila


Special care in Mexico



Fields must be kept free of weeds, and disease and pests controlled. Fungus growth must be prevented as well. 

“Blue Weber agave’s high-quality sugars are obtained through good fertilization with phosphorous and potassium. Harvesting the tequila plant at peak ripeness is also essential.”

JESÚS HERNÁNDEZ, MAESTRO TEQUILERO OF ALTOS TEQUILA


Watch out for pests in Mexico

  • Wild grass, and small shrubs like huizaches (sweet acacia), and capitana (crown beard) can grow alongside the agave plant competing for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients.

  • If the agave tequilana gets too much shade in the rainy season, fungi, like fusarium can then grow and attack the root system, preventing the plant from absorbing necessary nutrients from the soil. 

  • One of the most common pests that attacks the agave is a beetle called picudo. It drills into the head of the plant exposing it to infections. Another enemy to the agave is a bacterium called erguinea, which enters from the center of the plant where new leaves sprout. These bacteria will grow in the head of the plant and eventually kill it. If the field is left untreated, the infection will spread quickly to other plants.

Necessary nutrients

  • Organic nutrients, such as compost, can add nitrogen to the plant, helping it with moisture retention and nutrient absorption.

  • Nitrogen also helps the plant grow tissue and foliage, while phosphorus and potassium will improve vitality and sugar yield.