Arandas is located in the Eastern part of Jalisco. There is significant difference in taste between tequila that is made from lowland and highland agave plant. Our region is highland, where the agave has a sweeter fruit flavor.
Altitude of 2,060 meters above sea level. All agave that is Tequilana-Weber blue variety, must grow at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level.
Harvesting, traditionally known as “la jima”, begins once the agave has matured. Marquez de Valencia is 100% Tequilana-Weber’s blue agave, which takes seven to twelve years. Selection of the agave we use is based on color, size, age, and taste. Handpicked and cut. Our tequila farmers (Obreros Jimadores) have been harvesting tequila for over four generations.
We follow tradition and still bake our agave hearts in brick ovens. A process which takes fifteen to seventeen hours. This is one of the reasons we produce in limited amounts. Presently, any tequila that is mass produced is baked in steel tanks, know as autoclaves. When baking in brick ovens the temperature is lower than when baking in autoclaves. Baking in autoclaves reduces the baking time, but effects the flavor.
The baked agave hearts are then hand cut into small pieces and are run through a press to extract juices, called fresh must (mosto fresco). We are one of the few tequila’s that still use circular grindstones called “Tahona” to extract the agave juice once it’s baked.
The fermentation tanks are stainless steel vats where water and yeast are added to the agave juices. Water and yeast are added to activate the fermentation process. We do not use any added sugars, chemicals, or nutrients.
The process by which the application of heat and pressure separates the fermented juices into alcoholic products. Twice distilled. Some tequilas are now being triple distilled, which removes a lot of the natural flavor contained in the agave.
Stored in white oak casks and is aged for forty two weeks. This precise resting time is what gives Marquez de Valencia its very subtle oak flavor and natural spice. Many say it can hold it’s own against an Anejo.
These are a few of the ways we handcraft our premium tequilas.