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Text and pictures: Casa Cortes for Mezcalistas

May 31, 2022 | Anna Bruce

We arrived early to the Cortes palenque in Santiago Matatlan. The entrance is off a dusty road, left of the highway as you drive through the town, away from Oaxaca City. I was excited, even a little nervous to finally meet Rolando Cortes Hernandez, CEO of Casa Cortes, and youngest son of Jose and Crispina Cortes. Aware of his busy schedule I’d anticipated an introduction, or a short interview at best. However he couldn’t have been more open and welcoming, sharing stories from his past, plans for the future and of course a generous selection of the Casa Cortes range. A few morning mezcals definitely help get the conversation flowing…

Rolando’s family has been producing mezcal for five generations, since 1840 and their influence was enhanced by the launch of Casa Cortes in 2007. Roland co- founded this initiative with his family, to preserve traditions of mezcal production, while inviting various producers to a platform that supports economic growth. Casa Cortes incorporates a range of mezcals defined by three brands; Agave de Cortes, El Jolgorio and Nuestra Soledad. Of all the new labels that have emerged over the past decade and a half, these three have really made their mark.


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