We've been talking about this for so long that it sure feels like NOM 70, the guiding regulatory rules for the mezcal industry, is old news. In fact, today is when it officially kicks in and going forward, all products
I am subscribed to several Facebook groups all about mezcal, and a common theme is the one of the small producer, though exactly what a small producer is a question unto itself. In the international world of spirits, let's be frank, everyone in the mezcal world is a small producer if you look at the actual volume produced. Let's say for the moment that the biggest players in the category produce maybe 200,000 liters a year - that is peanuts in the alcohol world. For the category to get anywhere near tequila's production levels will take years and of course will require gigantic production shifts - something most of us obsessives are not keen to see, not even some of those brands we see as the big guys.
Taking advantage of proximity and the Tijuana airport, I took a quick trip to Oaxaca right after our recent Mexico in a Bottle event in San Diego. The semi new border crossing (CBX) that takes you from the US side of the border directly into the Tijuana airport is terrific and seamless and enables US travelers to take advantage of far less expensive flights within Mexico. Even paying the cost of the border crossing ($30 roundtrip) and the visa ($25 which is included in the international flight) makes it worthwhile. Between my roundtrip flight to San Diego from Oakland, and then the direct flight from Tijuana to Oaxaca meant a total cost of $350 round trip, far less than the usual $650 ticket price. I envy you SoCal people for having this so close at hand.