Bacanora is an agave spirit made in the state of Sonora.

There is a long history of distillation in this region, but due to a 77-year prohibition, few people have had the opportunity to try spirits from it until recently. You can find producers like Rancho Tepúa that use traditional methods (think mezcal) and others that have a more modern approach (think tequila). While there are a variety of agave species found in the region, only Pacifica can be used as stated by the denomination of origin.

VINATERO – Roberto Contreras

MAGUEY (AGAVE) – Pacifica (A. Angustifolia)

VILLAGE – Aconchi, El Río Sonora, Sierra Madre Occidental, Sonora, Mexico

OVEN / FUEL – Cylindrical pit / mesquite

MILL – Mechanical

FERMENT – Wild fermented in stainless steel for 8-12 days (with bagasso)

DISTILLATION – 2x in alembic of copper (with bagasso)

Aroma – bright and fruity
Taste – orange blossom, potting soil, mesquite
Texture – medium body and finish

ABV – Varies by batch

Production Process

Bacanora must be made with Agave Pacifica haw. These large, higher yielding agave also tend to be easier to cultivate compared to some of their wilder relatives that grow in Sonora.
Roberto Contreras Sr and Jr use a small cylindrical oven lined with bricks to cook both palmilla and agave piñas. They use mesquite wood, and they only collect what has fallen, preserving living trees for the next generation.
Milling is done with both axe and a small mechanical mill.
Fermentation is done with bagasso, and takes 8-12 days in stainless steel. This process is completely natural with ambient, wild yeast.
Distillation is done twice in copper alembics with a sombrero style top similar in shape to the clandestine, steel drum stills used as a result of prohibition.