Maestro Mezcalero is a term of relatively recent vintage. Translated, it means ‘master mezcal maker.’ Generally it used to describe the person who personally makes the mezcal but it can also mean the head of the palenque (also called vinata, taberna and fabrica) where mezcal is made. It can also mean the person who is teaching or managing the mezcal making process and not necessarily the actual mezcal maker.
Maestro Mezcalero is used as a sign of respect for the person behind the mezcal and, even more recently, has been expanded to other denominations like Raicilla (Maestro Raicillero) and Sotol (Maestro Sotolero). Unfortunately there are relatively few women making mezcal today but, when they are the maker, the feminine form of the term is used. For example, Karina Abad is listed as the Maestra Mezcalera of Los Nahuales Metodo Antiguo.
Almost all bottles of mezcal in the market indicate who the Maestro Mezcalero is on the labels.