Being granted Denominacion de Origen (DO) in mezcal is no easy feat, which is why the number of states granted that status has remained low relative to how widespread agave spirits production is in Mexico. Well, meet Sinaloa, which now rounds out the number of states granted that status to 10. The news was released through the Diario Official de la Federacion, a government website that announces official government business.
Four municipalities in the state have been recognized, Mazatlán, Rosario, Concordia, and San Ignacio. And while several states have applied for DO inclusion, most have been met with serious resistance, including most recently Aguas Caliente which saw its application roadblocked by the state of Oaxaca.
The application to IMPI (the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property) is arduous. The case needs to be made for historical and continuous production which is then verified by IMPI. The staff then dives deep into reviewing he historical background, official state and municipal information, agave plantings. Additionally they held meetings with historians and with inhabitants of the localities where vinatas (palenques) existed to verify everything that was in the application.
So why do states put themselves through this process? The simple answer is money, the mezcal category is booming and states are looking at how they can jump into the game. This is big business.