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Tuxca is highly contentious. There are a few brands that claim that the regions of Zapotitlan de Vadillo and Tuxcacuesco, Jalisco are the birthplace of an agave spirit historically known as tuxca. These few brands are actively working with the Mexican government to establish a Denomination of Origin similar to that of tequila or mezcal. This would mean that only spirits made in this region of Jalisco could be called tuxca, because there is historical significance of the term and the tuxca production in this area.

Other highly reputable brands and producers from this region, like Chacolo for example, are strongly against this. They say that tuxca is a term that comes from the city of Colima, which is a 2 hour drive to the south of this region of Jalisco. It’s in an entirely different state. The word tuxca originated in Colima and was used by people in the city of Colima to describe mezcal that arrived in clay jugs from Zapotitlan de Vadillo and Tuxcacuesco. The name tuxca, of course comes from the name of the latter town, Tuxcacuesco, and the term was used to refer to vino mezcal from that region. The people of Zapotitlan de Vadillo and Tuxcacuesco have never actually called their own spirits tuxca and have always used the name vino mezcal. The name tuxca comes from the destination of the mezcal, Colima, not the origin.

So is tuxca real? Or just a marketing ploy from a few opportunistic bottlers, marketers, and foreign investors? There’s certainly a lot of money to be made with a new DO, if in fact it is real.

As of Feb 2024, Chacolo had collected 1,000+ signatures protesting the Tuxca DO. These signatures are predominantly from producers and agave spirits workers in Zapotitlan de Vadillo, Tuxcacuesco, and elsewhere in Jalisco. Like Chacolo, many of them have been producing agave spirits in this region for upwards of five generations. Will that be enough to persuade a hungry Mexican government away from botching another spirits DO?

It’s like what Lenin said… you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…

I am the walrus.

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