El Tigre Papalote from Genio García is produced in Atempa, Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero. Tio Genio uses wild Papalote harvested from the iron-rich red clay hillsides during the dry season. The Papalote maguey matures on average in 10-12 years. It is castrated by cutting its thick quiote trunk 9 months before harvest to ensure the sugars intensify in the piña.
El Tigre Mezcal Damian and Raquel, the founders of El Tigre, officially started the project in 2011, but the roots date back to the early 2000s, when Damian’s tío Chimino, an accomplished magueyero (agave farmer) first introduced him to the Patricio García family, and Damian, who had grown up in Mexico City and Detroit, began developing a greater interest in the culture of his family’s ancestral home in Atempa-Xulchuchio.
Since then, the couple have hosted mezcal tastings in their home in Mexico City as way of spreading Atempa’s culture of mezcal, while using the proceeds to help support and preserve the web of agricultural and artisan communities that all play important parts in Atempa’s traditional social, religious and economic systems.
FAMILIA PATRICIO GARCÍA ATEMPA-XULCHUCHIO, GUERRERO Tío Chuchi, 77, and his wife Tía Victoria, 75, have made agave spirits in the same chivita (distillery) since getting married 50+ years ago. Before that, it was shared by their fathers and which their father’s shared before that, and Chuchi’s grandfather before that. While most of the couple’s seven children have left Atempa for more lucrative work in the North, the couple continues to endure the physical work of roasting and mashing agave, and the long sleepless nights while distilling.